Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kendrapara/Puri, Nov 1:
With the nesting season of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles nearing, Odisha Forest department has imposed a seven-month fishing ban from today along the coasts where the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles arrive every year during winter for mass nesting.
With the onset of winter, the state government clamped fishing restrictions from November 1 to May 32 to protect the endangered species along Puri coast and Gahirmatha marine sanctuary.
The restriction has been imposed as per Odisha Marine Fishing Act (OMFA).Trawlers and fishermen have been directed not to fish within 20 km from coastline in the turtle nesting sites.
Use of motor boats and mechanised trawlers for fishing within 5 km from the coast between Astarang and Baliharchandi in Puri district has been prohibited. Besides, fishing restriction has been imposed within 20km from Devi river mouth.
“We would organise camps for sensitising the fishermen particularly. The fishing ban is imposed within 20 km from the mouth of Devi river and 5km from the coast between Astarang and Baliharchandi in Puri. Action will be taken against the violators under Odisha Marine Fishing Act (OMFA),” Puri DFO, Chittaranjan Mishra said.
For this, on-shore camps at 13 places including Devi mouth, Devinasi, Daluakani, Chandrabhaga and Ramachandi have been set up for protection of the endangered sea turtles.
In addition to this, four temporary incubation centres have been set up at Devinasi, Jahania, Kanrpur, and Chandrabhaga for safety of eggs.
Similarly, 15 turtle protection camps, including three offshore camps, at Aagaranasi, Barunei and Babubali islands have been erected to protect turtles in Gahirmatha marine sanctuary.
The mass nesting event known as ‘arribada’ is followed by another grand spectacle when millions of hatchlings emerge from the shallow sandy pits 45 days later and march into the sea.
Odisha coast is considered the only place apart from Costa Rica to witness mass nesting by Olive Ridleys. Between five lakh and 10 lakh turtles come to the state every year for mass nesting.