Trou­bled Tur­tles

Enterprise - - Letters -

For the na­tions of the Sub­con­ti­nent, in­clud­ing Pak­istan and In­dia, it is es­sen­tial to work to­gether not only for the sake of the peo­ple of the re­gion but also for the wildlife which de­pends on ac­tion by hu­mans to save it from ex­tinc­tion. Mem­bers of a re­gional task force from Bangladesh, In­dia, the Mal­dives, Pak­istan and Sri Lanka have made a des­per­ate call at a meet­ing in Colombo to take mea­sures to stop the dec­i­ma­tion of ma­rine tur­tles, an­i­mals that have been around for 200 mil­lion years and thrive in the wa­ters of the Sub­con­ti­nent’s coast, but are to­day un­der threat be­cause of pol­lu­tion, over­fish­ing, the destruction of their habi­tats, ris­ing tem­per­a­tures and grow­ing hu­man pop­u­la­tions. The task­force which met in Colombo com­prises ex­perts and of­fi­cials from each coun­try and has al­ready signed a Ma­rine Tur­tle Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing, aimed at pro­tect­ing the mi­gra­tory species. The gath­er­ing in Colombo also pro­vided a rare op­por­tu­nity for ex­perts from across the re­gion to dis­cuss prob­lems and share ex­pe­ri­ences. From Pak­istan, ma­rine ex­perts pointed out that the Olive Ri­d­ley tur­tle, which had nested on the coast of Karachi for years, had not been spot­ted mak­ing its way to a now pol­luted and dan­ger­ous shore since 2013. The Hawkes­bay area is one of the rare places in the world where the tur­tle, which is still found in wa­ters off Pak­istan’s shores, re­turns an­nu­ally to build nests and lay eggs. En­sur­ing the tur­tles can safely do this is es­sen­tial to safe­guard­ing their fu­ture.

Zul­fiqar Ali jahir,


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