Morjim - Beach

Beach

The Morjim beach is a nesting and hatching habitat of the Olive ridley sea turtle, an endangered species. They are afforded the highest degree of protection under Indian law through their inclusion in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. Poaching eggs or in any manner disturbing the turtles or their habitat is an offence punishable under Indian law.

Protection of marine turtles and their habitat has been embraced by the local community through community-based conservation efforts. These efforts were commenced sometime in the years 1995-96 by a number of local villagers after discussions with Goa-based environmental protection groups. Before this time, the eggs were poached by fishermen, but later the fishermen became some of the fiercest protectors of marine turtles.

The Goa Forest Department supports the turtle conservation efforts and has set up a Turtle Conservation Interpretation Centre at the Forest Office in Pernem utilising funds allotted by the Central Government of India. The Forest Department also pays a monthly stipend to young local volunteers involved in marine turtle conservation efforts in Morjim. A few of these volunteers have even found jobs with the Forest Department in recognition of their efforts. Some youth of Morjim have also gone on to campaign internationally by doing stints on the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior.

The Tourism Department of the Government of Goa has aided the conservation efforts by restricting temporary seasonal structures (e.g. shacks) to only a portion of the beach, and requiring them to operate only during daylight hours. Owners of the structures are also legally obliged not to leave beach furniture strewn about after daylight hours and not to do anything that would adversely affect marine turtle conservation.

Sadly in 2011 the turtles can hardly be seen anymore due to over-urbanization, light pollution, noise pollution. Morjim's wildlife is doomed as per a recent study of international researchers, the village is expected to be the next Calangute.

Despite the ban, a fashion show with illumination and music was held well into the night on Saturday December 10, 2011 flouting the law and outraging environmentalists and locals an umpteenth time.

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Famous quotes containing the word beach:

    Across the lonely beach we flit,
    One little sandpiper and I;
    And fast I gather, bit by bit,
    The scattered driftwood, bleached and dry.
    The wild waves reach their hands for it,
    The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
    As up and down the beach we flit—
    One little sandpiper and I.
    Celia Thaxter (”Laighton”)

    They will tell you tough stories of sharks all over the Cape, which I do not presume to doubt utterly,—how they will sometimes upset a boat, or tear it in pieces, to get at the man in it. I can easily believe in the undertow, but I have no doubt that one shark in a dozen years is enough to keep up the reputation of a beach a hundred miles long.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    When the inhabitants of some sequestered island first descry the “big canoe” of the European rolling through the blue waters towards their shores, they rush down to the beach in crowds, and with open arms stand ready to embrace the strangers. Fatal embrace! They fold to their bosoms the vipers whose sting is destined to poison all their joys; and the instinctive feeling of love within their breasts is soon converted into the bitterest hate.
    Herman Melville (1819–1891)