State at Large

31 fishermen arrested, vessels seized in Kendrapara

Gahirmatha

Kendrapara: In a major crackdown, 31 fishermen were arrested by forest personnel for carrying out illegal fishing activity in the prohibited corridors of the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary in Kendrapara district.

At least four sea-worthy vessels used for fishing along with the marine sanctuary were also seized by the patrolling unit of the forest department near unmanned Babuballi Island yesterday, said forest officials.

Notably, 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.

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