Bhubaneswar, November 15 (LocalWire): The state government has decided to pay Rs 7,500 each to around 8,000 fishermen families to compensate for their loss due to the ban on fishing from 1 November 2019 to 31 May 2020 in view of annual mass nesting of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles.
Chairing a meeting of the high-power committee for protection and conservation of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles here, chief secretary Asit Tripathy directed the concerned departments not to cause unnecessary harassment to the small traditional fishermen without powerboats and instead catch the real criminals who cause damage to the turtles.
Reviewing the steps taken so far in this direction, Tripathy stressed on strict enforcement of the conservation rules for turtle protection during the current nesting season and directed the departments of Fishery, Forest and Marine police to operate in close coordination.
Advising all concerned departments to take pride in sea turtle conservation and make it another modern identity of Odisha, the chief secretary requested the Coast Guard to have real-time intelligence sharing with the departments about any illegal fishing.
He also asked institutions like Interim Test Range (ITR), DRDO, Dhamara Port, Gopalpur Port, and Paradeep Port to follow the black-out and light deeming practices to save the turtles from possible delusion.
“Since the Olive Ridley breeding in Odisha has a significant impact on the world population of these rare species, we must take pride in protecting it,” Tripathy said, adding that it should be transformed into a mass campaign through people’s involvement so as to brand it with Odisha.
Speaking at the meeting, principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF) Sandeep Tripathy said that fishing by the trawlers with 30 HP or more would be banned up to 20 km inside the sea, particularly in the Olive congregation area and their buffer zones at three river mouths of Dhamara, Devi and Rushikulya.
Presenting the updates in the meeting, Wildlife PCCF Hari Sankar Upadhya informed that 66 offshore patrolling camps would be deployed this year.
“Babubali, Agarnasi, Devinasi and Purunabandha, etc will serve as the base for seagoing petrol. Four berthing places at Barunei, Gupti, Sanapeta, and Krishnapriyapur will be set up for safe custody of seized vessels,” he stated.
The meeting deliberated on Action Plan for 2019-20 and it was decided that wide awareness activities would be undertaken for the purpose, while a central monitoring unit would be set up in the office of the PCCF, Wildlife.