Bhubaneswar, Oct 31 (Odisha.in) Orissa on Monday imposed a seven-month ban on fishing along 120km of state’s 480 km coast line as endangered Olive Ridley turtles started congregating at the deep sea for mating, official said.
Boats and trawlers will not be allowed to carry out any fishing activities within 20 km of the coast near the nesting sites in the state during the ban which will be effective from Tuesday till May 31.
The turtles have started congregating at the deep sea. The ban was imposed so that no turtle gets killed, Manoj Mohapatra, the divisional forest officer of Bhitarkanika National Park told Odisha.in
The Gahirmatha turtle sanctuary in Bhitarkanika in the district of Kendrapada-about 170 km from here is one of the world’s largest turtle nesting sites, where most turtles nest every year.
The other two sites are being the Devi river mouth in Puri district and Rushikulya river mouth in Ganjam district. The ban will be effective near all the three nesting sites, he said.
Two-three dead turtles have been washed ashore in Gahirmatha and Devi river mouth recently which indicate that the turtles have started congregating at the deep sea, he said.
More than five lakh Olive Ridley turtles arrive and congregate in the shallow coastal waters of the state in October-November and nest between December and March. Most hatchlings emerge by May.
Last year a record 7.20 lakh turtles had nested at the beaches of the state, he said.