Interpreting Sea turtle stranding with reference to the spatiotemporal analysis of hotspots along Maharashtra: implications for sea turtle conservation in Maharashtra, India

Stranding records as tools to delineate hot spots for sea turtles


  • Prachi Hatkar Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun Uttarakhand 248002
  • Priyamvada Bagaria Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Government of India, New Delhi- 110003
  • Dinesh Vinherkar Wildlife Conservation and Animal Welfare Association (WCAWA), Dahanu, Maharashtra 401601
  • Dhaval Kansara Wildlife Conservation and Animal Welfare Association (WCAWA), Dahanu, Maharashtra 401601
  • Sagar Patel Wildlife Conservation and Animal Welfare Association (WCAWA), Dahanu, Maharashtra 401601


Reptiles, Sea turtles, Stranding, conservation, Maharashtra


Sea turtles are affected by various natural calamities and disasters apart from those caused by human-induced activities, including fishing operations. Stranded carcasses of marine megafauna can provide valuable information on the cause of death at sea. However, interpreting the results can be challenging because stranding probabilities are usually very low and highly variable in space and time. However, it is crucial for the management of such species. Knowledge of the spatial and temporal distribution of specific mortality sources is crucial for managing species vulnerable to human interactions. Beach cast carcasses represent an unknown fraction of at-sea mortalities. Data on stranded sea turtles were examined between 1981 and 2021 along the Maharashtra coast (N = 510) to detect spatio-temporal patterns and understand the factors that contribute to their mortality. We evaluated the distribution and magnitude of sea turtle mortality along the Maharashtra coast. These data are valuable for directing and implementing specific and local mitigation measures along the Maharashtra coast, such as avoiding bycatch hotspots through fleet communication programs or area- and season-specific closures, enforceable legislation, effective penalties, and proper waste management. This study highlights the importance of addressing these data gaps and provides a meaningful conservation tool that can be applied to stranding data on sea turtles along the Konkan coast of India.