Bhubaneswar: The Forest Department put a 7-month ban on fishing in the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary from November 1 to May 31, 2020 to protect Olive Ridley sea turtles.
Gahiramatha, located at Rajnagar in Kendrapada district, is the world’s largest Olive Ridley breeding site. Lakhs of sea turtles of the class throng the coast for mating and breeding every winter from November first week. The females lay eggs in March and they all quit by end of May each year.
In view of this, fishermen have been asked not to go for fishing within 20 kilometres of the coastline, covering 68 km coastline from Hukitola to Dhamara, during the next seven months.
As many as 16 teams comprising 60 officers have been for protection of Olive Ridley turtles. The Coast Guard, the Marine Police and the Forest Department will keep watch of the turtles.
According to reports, around 4.70 lakh turtles had laid eggs between February 26 and March 5, this year, at the Nasi-1 and Nasi-2 islands within Gahiramatha sanctuary.
The Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 and its latest amendments in 2006 provide legal protection to all the sea turtle species visiting the coastline of the State.