In an effort to facilitate the nesting of horseshoe crab in the Chandipur beach and nearby estuaries and also to add a boost to ecotourism in the region, the Association for Biodiversity Conservation in association with the New Hope volunteers cleaned about five km stretch along the sea beach recently.
“We live in the vicinity of a living fossil,” said Siddhartha Pati, a senior research fellow at the Department of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Fakir Mohan University, Baleswar, who is the investigator of a recent project on the conservation of the horseshoe crab supported by the Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund , Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Pati was there among many intellectuals, environmentalists and educationists who had assembled on the sea bed of Chandipur and
adjoining Balaramgadi while the cleaning drive was undertaken.
Over 40 volunteers, along with wildlife activists, picked up huge amount of litters from the beach over four hours, so that site could be made more conducive for the habitats and breeding ground of the horseshoe crabs. Encouraged by the initiative, a few local fishermen also took part in the drive.
Professor Bishnu Prasad Dash from the Fakir Mohan University, who was taking a lead in inspiring the team of conservationists and actively serving in the drive, gave the message about the importance of the valuable marine creatures and the species’ role to maintain marine ecosystem.
Reader in Zoology Siddheswar College Gobinda Chandra Biswal pointed out that horseshoe crab breeding was being hindered by the piles of garbage on the beach and the rampant pollution by human and machines boats. Being an educationist, he has been articulating his collective and personal effort in raising awareness about the living fossil.
Kesu Das, a known artist, emphasised on the importance of the event on horseshoe crab breeding.
“It’s time to pick up the rubbish on our beaches, because plastic doesn’t degrade. Every piece of plastic poses a threat to the earth at large; so we need to make sure we dispose it of in a proper way,” Das said.
“We also want to give a message that we are responsible for garbage on the beach and ought to take care of the beaches and nature,” said Sangram Panda of the New Hope.