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Odisha bans sea fishing for breeding season of olive ridley turtles

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Bhubaneswar: In view of the forthcoming breeding season of the endangered olive ridley turtles, the authorities clamped a seven-month ban on sea fishing.

The marine fishermen will not be allowed for fishing along 20-km stretch of Dhamra-Rushikulya river mouth within Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary from November 1.

The restriction imposed in accordance with provisions of Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act (OMFRA), 1982 and provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, will remain effective till May 31 next year.

The move came at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi on Tuesday.

To make up the loss of livelihoods of the marine fishermen due to prohibition during mass nesting of the sea turtles, the authorities decided to send recommendation to the government for hike of financial assistance amount from Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,500.

As per the decision, the prohibitory orders will be strictly enforced along 20-km stretch of Dhamra-Rushikulya river mouth within Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary. The trawlers will be restricted for entering into the prohibited water zone.

Any act of trespass will invite punitive measures, an official source said.