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36 Fishermen Arrested, 5 Trawlers Seized for Fishing in Odisha's Gahirmatha

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

Those arrested are traditional marine fishermen from Balasore, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts. The fishing vessels had trespassed into the prohibited sanctuary corridors, contravening the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act and other rules, forest officials said.

Thirty-six fishermen were arrested for unlawful fishing activity in the turtle concentration zones of Odisha's Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in the Kendrapara district, officials said on Saturday. Five fishing trawlers were also seized as these are banned in the area, they said.

Those arrested are traditional marine fishermen from Balasore, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts. The fishing vessels had trespassed into the prohibited sanctuary corridors, contravening the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act and other rules, forest officials said.

With the latest interception, 76 fishermen have so far been arrested to ensure the safety of olive ridley sea turtles, they said. Twelve vessels were also seized since November 1.

The operation to stop unlawful trawling to ensure the safety of olive ridley turtles is being jointly conducted by the coast guard, forest department, police and fisheries department after the marine animals began their annual breeding season in November, said Bikash Chandra Dash, the divisional forest officer of Rajnagar. A seven-month trawler fishing ban has been imposed along the 20 km stretch of Dhamara-Devi river from November 1 in view of the mass nesting of the endangered turtles.

The fishing prohibition remains enforced round the year in Gahirmatha as it is accorded the status of the marine sanctuary.

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first published:December 12, 2020, 13:06 IST