Kendrapada, India — With the mass nesting of the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles round the corner, the forest officials are going to impose a ban order on fishing activities inside the Gahiramatha Marine Sanctuary of Kendrapada district within a radius of around 20 km offshore from November 1. The ban order would remain in force up to May 31 next year.
The ban order will be enforced under the Odisha Marine Fishing Regulation Act,1982 and Odisha Marine Fishing Rules,1983 , said DFO of Rajnagar Mangrove Forest and Wildlife Division, Manoj Kumar Mohapatra.
To protect the endangered Ridley sea turtles during their mass nesting at Gahiramatha marine sanctuary, the world's largest rookery of these endangered marine species, the forest personnel will seek the cooperation from the coast guards, marine police and DRDO (Defence Research & Development Organisation) personnel to step up surveillance in and around the Wheeler Island. The Ridleys move along in lakhs to the beaches of Gahiramatha for laying eggs every year.
The Park authority will organize awareness campaign to curb the mortality of the endangered species among the fishermen community very soon, the DFO added.
The Ridley sea turtle is protected under the Migratory Species Convention and Convention of International Trade on Wildlife Flora and Fauna.
The forest officials are going to set up onshore and offshore camps inside the marine sanctuary to protect the Ridley turtles and to keep a watch on the illegal entry of fishing trawlers.
They have also planned to set up artificial hatcheries to hatch some of the turtle eggs. Besides, night patrolling will also be stepped up by with the help of coast guard personnel and marine police after the sighting of the Ridleys.