Crime

Kendrapara: 31 fishermen arrested, vessels seized

Kendrapara:Forest personnel have arrested 31 fishermen for carrying out unlawful fishing activity in the prohibited corridors of the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary in Kendrapara district.

Four sea-worthy vessles used for fishing along the marine sanctuary were also seized by the patrolling unit of the forest department near unmanned Babuballi island yesterday, forest officials said.

Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is famous for the mass nesting of Olive Ridley sea turtles.

Sea patrolling has been stepped up in the sanctuary to keep the Olive Ridley turtle concentration zones free from human interference.

With this, 200 fishermen have been arrested and 62 fishing vessls seized since the last two months for sneaking into the prohibited sea territory, the official said.
Prohibition on sea fishing is enforced throughout the year within the marine sanctuary limits.

Sea patrolling is stepped up within the marine sanctuary water territory during November-May every year in view of the annual mass nesting season of the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles.

The arrested fishermen were natives of some fishing villages in Kendrapara and Bhadrak and Balasore districts, a senior official said.

The fishing vessels had trespassed into the prohibited sanctuary corridors contravening the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act and the mandatory rules of marine sanctuary.

They were forwarded to jail under the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1982, he said.

Fishermen have been sensitised on the restrictions imposed on human activities in the marine sanctuary, Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (Wildlife) Forest Division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya, said.

Nearly 6.04 lakh Olive Ridley turtles had arrived at Nasi-2 nesting ground from March 16 to 23 this year to lay eggs on the sandy beanch. -PTI

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