BHUBANESWAR: The State Government today finalised an action plan for protection and conservation of Olive Ridley turtles during the current nesting season.
The Coast Guard has been requested to have real time intelligence sharing with departments concerned about illegal fishing. Dhamara, Gopalpur and Paradeep port authorities were also requested to
provide vessels for patrolling in their respective coasts.
The issue was discussed at a meeting of the high power committee for protection and conservation of Olive Ridley sea turtles chaired by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here.
Padhi directed the departments of Fishery, Forest and Marine police to operate in close coordination and ensure strict enforcement of the conservation rules.
He also advised the departments not to harass the traditional fishermen unnecessarily during the ban period.
"Two high speed boats have been procured this year for patrolling and prevention. These boats can run 30 kms per hour and can easily catch illegal fishermen in the sea," said Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Sidhant Das.
Das further added that during the current nesting season a total of 59 camps both on-shore and off-shore will be put up at different places along the coast for detection of illegal fishing. Two new camps will be set up in Puri and Bhadrak coast.
"We will take the cooperation of local community, NGOs and traditional fishermen. Fisheries and Animal Resource department was requested to regulate fishing activities for traditional fishermen as
per the existing rules", added Das.
He said that the All India Radio has been requested to create awareness among the public awareness. A central monitoring unit has been set up in the office of the PCCF, Wild Life.
Sea patrolling will be launched from various bases near Babubali, Agarnasi, new Devi Nasi island and Purunabandha. Each of the 59 camps will be provided with VHF communication devices, mobile phones and other required materials.
There will be circle level monitoring under the direct supervision of regional Conservator of Forests, Berhampur and Baripada. They will coordinate with other law enforcing agencies and involve local NGOs in the turtle protection activities.
It has been decided to deploy APR force for patrolling and enforcement activities. District collectors would depute magistrates to remain in charge of APR force placed at disposal of DFOs.
Industries and ports along the coast have been requested to comply to the lighting regulations.
A web portal under the title ‘manage.odishawildlife.org' has already been developed for monitoring of sporadic nesting and mortality of Olive Ridley sea turtles, Das said.