Orissa High Court forms panel to study Olive Ridley deaths
The PIL was registered on the basis of a media report on the death of 800 Olive Ridleys in Odisha since January this year in Gahirmatha marine sanctuary, the world’s largest rookery of the sea turtles
CUTTACK: Two days after registering suo motu a PIL on deaths of Olive Ridley sea turtles along the Odisha coast, especially in Gahirmatha marine sanctuary, the Orissa High Court on Friday formed a three-member committee to look into the problem and submit a report by March 10.
The PIL was registered on the basis of a media report on the death of 800 Olive Ridleys in Odisha since January this year in Gahirmatha marine sanctuary, the world’s largest rookery of the sea turtles. Turtles are dying after getting stuck in fishing net.
Many of the dead turtles bear injuries and are found trapped in trawl or gill nets. A large number of sea turtles are in danger due to the presence of plastic, polythene and other materials in the sanctuary as well as at Rushikulya beach, which is another nesting site for the Olive Ridley species, the article published on February 4 said.
The Court said the committee shall consist of Director of Environment Sushanta Nanda, expert on marine turtle biology and conservation Kartik Shankar and Amicus Curiae Mohit Agarwal. The division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray directed the committee to submit a report suggesting how the turtle deaths can be prevented after inspecting the two rookeries - Gahirmatha and Rushikulya, and interacting with the local fishermen.
The Court also directed the State government to submit a status report on implementation of HC order issued earlier for enforcing use of turtle excluder device (TED) in trawler nets during fishing operations along the Odisha coast. The Court further directed the government to take a decision on installation of thermal imaging cameras at strategic locations to detect illegal fishing during night within 20 km off coast prohibited zone.