8 Andhra fishermen held for fishing in Rushikulya river mouth

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Berhampur (Odisha), Nov 17 (PTI) A total of eight fishermen from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh were nabbed by forest officials of Ganjam district for allegedly fishing in Rushikulya river mouth.

They were nabbed on Monday evening when they were spotted in a no-fishing zone, imposed in the wake of the nesting season of Olive Ridley Turtles, an official said.

A trawler used by the fishermen and over 260 kg of fish were also seized, he said.

The fishermen have been handed over to the marine fishery department for action under the Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act (OMFRA), 1982, said divisional forest officer (DFO) Berhampur, Amlan Nayak.

To ensure the safety of Olive Ridley Turtles during their breeding and mating season, the Odisha government has clamped a seven-month fishing ban, within 20 km from the coast at the river mouths of Rushikulya, Dhamara and Devi, from November 1.

At least three boats and a trawler are engaged in sea patrolling and for the first time, forest officials have introduced night patrolling in the area, he said.

As many as four to five lakh endangered turtles arrive each year during winter for mass nesting.

Rushikulya river mouth is considered to be the second biggest rookery for Olive Ridley Turtles after Gahirmatha in Kendrapara district. PTI COR AAM MM MM