The year 2010 has been a special year for SSTCN:
1) We got the ISTS President’s Award for our conservation work. This is indeed a validation for all the work done by many students and youngsters for more than two decades. The International Sea Turtle Society held its annual symposium in India this year. This is only the second time it is being held in Asia – the first time was in Malaysia a few years ago. SSTCN had not participated in any of these symposiums before as as we like to avoid air travel particularly internationally, both from the pollution and cost point of view. As this edition was in India we felt happy for this opportunity to participate as it helped us meet with marine conservationists and scientists from all over the world. We made two presentations – an oral one on the story of SSTCN – how it started, and how it has run successfully for 22 years as a students’ initiative and as an unfunded organisation.The second one was a poster presentation in which we undertook to do a detailed GPS study of our coastal stretch including nesting sites, width of beach, major ipomoea regions, CRZ violations by buildings etc. We were superbly assisted by Mr. Nagesh Kolagani who patiently guided us on the GIS and Mr. Sundaramurthy who helped us with the final presentation.
2) We began conservation work on the Marina stretch from this year. We undertook patrolling the Marina stretch as well this year, but as we didn’t have enough volunteers to cover both stretches, we hired two local people from fishing villages in the Marina stretch and they were able to relocate 27 nests and we released around 400 hatchlings.
3) 7000 hatchlings released. Our Besant Nagar hatchery had 75 nests and we released 5800 hatchlings. The Marina stretch had 400 hatchlings and wild nests produced more than 800 babies leading to 7000 hatchlings being released in all.