KENDRAPARA: Forest officials on Wednesday arrested 11 fishermen and seized a trawler on the sea water of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in the district on charges of fishing illegally.
Gahirmatha forest range officer Srirampada Arabinda Mishra said earlier the marine fishermen were directed not to fish within 20 km from coastline in sanctuary areas covering 1,360 sq km from Hukitola to Dhamra from November 1 to May 31.
Forest guards have been deployed to arrest erring fishermen for fishing during the ban period. Gahirmatha beach is the largest rookery of the sea turtles in the world.
For this, the Government banned all types of fishing for seven months to save the endangered marine species, he added.
“We have set up 16 turtle protection camps, including three offshores at Agaranashi, Barunei and Babubali islands, to protect turtles in Gahirmatha marine sanctuary. The officials of marine police stations at Kharinashi and Paradip along with the coast guards are helping the forest personnel to prevent illegal fishing this year. Last year, we had arrested 481 fishermen and seized 65 vessels from the sanctuary,” he said.