The over exploitation of marine and coastal resources have paved the way for the extinction of marine turtles, sea grass weed beds, coral reefs and mangroves, the environmentalists say.
They say that although the removal of corals has been banned, coral mining goes on unabated in the Southern Coastal belt. Turtles a valuable resource will be lost if remedial measures are not adopted to save them from extinction, the environmentalists say.
The most affected areas in Hambantota district are Tangalle, Rekawa, Kudawella, Kirinda and Unakooruwa, the environmentalists said. They say that coral mining and sale of turtle eggs have now become money spinners for a section of fishermen in the Southern region.
There is a big demand for turtle eggs from the tourist hotels including star hotels because foreigners relish it. The sale of turtle eggs and slaughter of turtles goes on while the custodians of law turn a Nelsonean eye.
The environmentalists said that other factors that contribute towards the extinction of turtles are the unauthorised constructions along the coastal belt flood lights directed by star hotels to the sea beach from tourist hotels loud music released from hotels, trawler fishing crafts and boats, according to environmentalists and marine experts.