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From Soup to Superstar: The Story of Sea Turtle Conservation Along the Indian Coast

Kartik Shanker (Author)

Tigers, elephants, lions and other large mammals have so far been central to India's conservation story. In spite of the country's vast coastline and millions being dependent on marine resources for their livelihoods, such species and habitats have been largely neglected in writings on wildlife. From Soup to Superstar provides the first comprehensive account of marine conservation in India, focusing on sea turtles, which are at once a fishery resource, a religious symbol and a conservation icon. Worshipped as Kurma, the incarnation of Vishnu, by several communities, these creatures have been part of folklore and mythology for over 2,000 years. Until the 1970s, there were large- and small-scale turtle fisheries in Odisha and the Gulf of Mannar, while eggs and meat were consumed along the rest of the coast. Since then, several conservation programmes have been led in these regions by naturalists, scientists, activists and concerned citizens with diverse, often conflicting, approaches. Globally, attention has centred on the mass-nesting beaches in Odisha, where over 1,00,000 turtles may nest simultaneously. New threats have emerged and elicited responses at local, national and international levels. Bringing together a range of issues and actors that have affected the world of sea turtles, filled with fascinating insights into scientific research and human-animal ecologies, this is a definitive chronicle of the efforts that have been made to protect these mysterious creatures in the last fifty years.

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About the author

Kartik Shanker

Kartik Shanker is faculty at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and adjunct fellow at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bangalore. He started his work on marine turtles in 1988 as a founder-member of the Students’ Sea Turtle Conservation Network, Chennai. He has worked on conservation genetics of marine turtles on the east and west coasts of India and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He is currently coordinating a collaborative project on networking and monitoring marine turtles throughout India. His coastal and marine conservation programme at ATREE works on policy and governance issues, focusing on marine turtle conservation in Orissa. He is editor of the Indian Ocean Turtle Newsletter, a newsletter for the conservation and management of marine turtles in the Indian Ocean; Regional Vice Chair (South Asia), IUCN/SSC marine Turtle Specialist Group; and executive editor of Conservation and Society.

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Bibliographic information

Title From Soup to Superstar: The Story of Sea Turtle Conservation Along the Indian Coast
Format Hardcover
Date published: 24.11.2015
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Harper Litmus
Language: English
isbn 9789351772323
length 360p., 8 Pages of Plates; Illustrations; Colour; 22cm.