Odisha Imposes 7-Month Ban on Fishing Along 3 Rivers

Bhubaneswar: With the Olive Ridley sea turtles’ breeding season approaching, Odisha government have imposed a ban on sea fishing activity along three river mouths to protect the endangered marine animals. The ban on fishing activities starts from Tuesday in an area spanning 20 km from the mouths of rivers Dhamara, Devi and Rusikulya, marking the beginning of the nesting season of Olive Ridley turtles, an official said.

The prohibition is clamped every year — from November 1-May 31 – to ensure the turtles don’t get entangled in fishing nets or come under the propellers of trawlers, the forest official said. Hence, fishing by motorised vessels, trawlers has been prohibited in vicinity of three river mouths from Nov 1 to May 31

A multi-layered patrolling exercise, involving forest and fisheries departments, and the marine police, besides the coast guard personnel, will be carried out near the river mouths to keep a check on unlawful activities, he stated on Monday. A blanket ban on sea-fishing remains enforced round- the-year in Gahirmatha coast, which is acclaimed as the largest habitation corridors of these endangered marine species. Besides, it has been conferred the status of marine sanctuary in view of turtles congregation.

The sole objective of annual measures, that would remain effective till May 31, is to ensure the safety of marine animals during their breeding and mating season, said forest officials, adding that the ban has been clamped in accordance with Sections 2, 7 and 4 of Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act (OMFRA), 1982 and provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

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