Seven-month fishing ban for annual sojourn of Olive Ridleys
Kendrapara: Odisha’s Marine Fishery department will impose a seven-month fishing ban at Gahirmatha marine sanctuary from November 1 to provide security to the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles for their annual sojourn to the sanctuary for laying eggs.
The fishing ban from November 1 to May 31 will be imposed in accordance with provisions of Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act (OMAFRA), 1982, Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and Orissa Marine Fishing Rules, 1983 from 20 km off the sea coast in Bay of Bengal to protect the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles, official sources said here on Tuesday.
“We are going to create awareness among fishermen communities in the coming days to protect and conserve the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles,” Gahirmatha marine sanctuary Range in-charge Manas Kumar Das said. He said Gahirmatha marine sanctuary is considered to be the world’s largest rookery of Olive Ridley turtles.
The Bhitarkanika forest personnel will seek the cooperation from Coast Guard, Marine Police and Fishery department to step up surveillance at Gahirmatha marine sanctuary to protect the marine turtles and provide a congenial atmosphere for the upcoming nesting season.
With hardly a week left, the forest officials have started setting up two offshore camps at Babubali and Agarnasi and 14 onshore camps under Gahirmatha marine sanctuary from Dhamara to Devi mouth to restrict the illegal entry of trawlers to the sanctuary.
Official sources said as many as 5,01,157 Olive Ridley sea turtles came ashore en masse to the golden beach of Nasi-2 within Gahirmatha marine sanctuary and laid eggs within a span of three days from March 25 to March 28.
Das said the mid sea surveillance will be intensified from November 1 to protect the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles by restricting trawlers from entering the “No Fishing Zone” within Gahirmatha marine sanctuary.