19 Fishermen Held For Sneaking Into Turtle Habitation Zone In Odisha

Kendrapada: In the latest crackdown on illegal fishing, forest personnel arrested 19 sea-going fishermen for alleged involvement in unlawful fishing activity inside Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Odisha’s Kendrapada district on Monday.

Four quintals of sea fish besides 22 fishing nets and four GPS devices were seized from their possession.

The forest patrol team also seized two trawlers used by the intruders for fishing along the prohibited sanctuary area. “The accused were booked under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. They were produced at Rajnagar court and remanded in judicial custody after their bail pleas were rejected,” a forest officer  informed.

Notably, the area has been declared a no-entry zone since November 1 to protect the endangered Olive Ridley turtles during their mass nesting season.

Also Read: 15 Fishermen Detained For Trespassing In Odisha’s Konark

To facilitate the mating of Olive Ridley turtles, the Forest department had asked fishermen not to venture into the sea within 20 km of the coastline covering 1,435 sq km of the sea from Hukitola to Dhamra.

The Odisha government has imposed a seven-month-long ban on fishing activities, from November 1-May 31, to ensure that the turtles do not get entangled in fishing nets or come under the trawlers during their breeding season.

The ban is being imposed in accordance with Sections 2, 4 and 7 of the Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act (OMFRA), 1982, and provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Also Read: Olive Ridley Nesting: Sea Patrolling Begins Off Rusikulya Coast In Odisha’s Ganjam

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