Ban on fishing in Gahirmata marine sanctuary comes into force
KENDRAPARA (ODISHA), India — The Odisha Government today clamped a seven-month ban on fishing in the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Kendrapara district as mass nesting by endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles have begun.
The ban on the 20 km stretch of the Dhamra-Rushikulya river mouth has been clamped in accordance with Sections 2, 7 and 4 of the Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1982 and provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
“To ensure the safety of turtles, the prohibitory orders are being strictly enforced,” Manoj Kumar Mahapatra, Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division, said.
The ban was to prevent turtles dying from being entangled in fishing nets.
Fishermen, however, said that conservation of the endangered Ridleys should not be at the cost of livelihood of thousands of fishermen.
They said that most fishermen fished without harming the turtles.
To make up the loss of fishermen, the World Bank-funded Integrated Coastal Zone Management Programme has taken up alternative livelihood projects.
“We have planned to cover all fishermen families under the scheme to compensate their loss due to the ban,” Assistant Director of Fisheries (Marine), Subrat Das said.