Rajnagar: The Coast Guard (CG) personnel have seized 14 fishing trawlers and arrested 122 fishermen for catching fish illegally by trespassing into the no fishing zone inside the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary.
Gahirmatha Marine sanctuary Ranger Subrat Kumar Patra on Sunday said that as a part of its annual mission “Operation Olivia” to ensure the safe mid-sea sojourn of breeding Olive Ridley sea turtles in Gahirmatha marine sanctuary area, the Coast Guard personnel were engaged to provide adequate protection to the endangered species and to keep a tab on illegal fishing in Gahirmatha marine sanctuary.
The coast guard personnel, he said during the drive yesterday nabbed 122 fishermen, seized 14 fishing vessels, five tons of fish catch, 130 fishing nets , 14 numbers of VHF,GPS, fish finder machines from their possessions, he said.
Later, the Coast Guard personnel handed over the arrested fishermen and the intercepted fishing vessels along with the other seized items to the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary personnel. Most of the arrested fishermen were the inhabitants of Balesore district, whereas about six to seven fishermen belonged to Bhadrak district.
As per sources, the accused would be sent to jail under provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and the Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1982.