Kendrapara: Forest department personnel injured in attack

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 19, 2024 IST

Kendrapada, Mar 19: Forest personnel engaged in turtle protection narrowly escaped when their trawler was targeted by illegal fishing vessels along the Gahirmatha beach coast in Kendrapara district, as per official reports.

 

Sources said, Gahirmatha Beach witnesses the annual mass nesting of millions of Olive Ridley turtles, making it renowned as the world's largest nesting site for these turtles. While on patrol duty, forest officials encountered an attack by a group arriving in 17 fishing trawlers. However, timely assistance from two other patrolling teams prevented any harm.

 

Led by forest personnel Madan Hansda, he immediately notified the District Forest Officer and Assistant Conservator of Forests upon being besieged by the hostile crew during their patrol. Following the DFO's instructions, the officials resorted to blank firing for their safety. Patrolling teams from Sasanpeta and Babubali, in compliance with the DFO's directives, rushed to Hukitola to support their colleagues.

 

This marks the third attempted attack on a patrolling team in the past month and a half.

 

Worth mentioning, a forest official lost their life during a patrol 15 years ago in the Gahiramatha Sanctuary.

 

To mitigate the high mortality rate of marine species, the Odisha government has enforced a ban on fishing activities within a 20-kilometer seaward radius from Gahirmatha under the Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act (OMFRA), 1982. Despite such legislative measures, the marine sanctuary continues to face incursions by fishing trawlers into the turtle habitat corridor annually.

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