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Odisha government banned fishing to protect Olive Ridley turtles

Olive Ridley turtles

Odisha Government on November 4, 2015 imposed a seven-month ban on fishing along the coast. The forest department of the state imposed the ban with an aim to protect the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles that nests along the coast during winters. The restriction has been imposed as per ‘Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act (OMFRA), 1982’ and provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The ban will be in force from November 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016.

For this purpose of securing the turtles, the trawlers and fishermen have been directed not to fish within 20kilometer off the 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. The violators of the order will be punished under the OMFRA. The Gahirmatha turtle sanctuary is one of the world’s largest turtle nesting sites. These turtles arrive and congregate in the shallow coastal water of the Bay of Bengal in November and climb ashore for nesting between December and March. Most hatchlings emerge by May.

The over half a million endangered Olive Ridley turtles annually arrive during winters for mass nesting in three nesting sites, namely
• Rushikulya river mouth in Ganjam district
• Devi river mouth in Puri district
• Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Kendrapada district