Bhitarkanika sanctuary: Seven fishermen sent to jail
Seven fishermen were arrested by the Bhitarkanika National park officials and sent to jail by the JMFC at Patamundai today on charge of fishing illegally inside the sanctuary.
Rajnagar Ranger Officer Binod Kumar Acharya said a team of the forest personnel on patrol duty inside the sanctuary area noticed the fishermen entering into Baunsagada river within Bhitarkanika National Park and fishing illegally.
The forest personnel arrested all the seven fishermen, seized the two boats and the fish catch.
The arrested people were produced before the JMFC court under Wildlife Protection Act and were remanded to jail custody, Mr Acharaya said Fishing inside the Gahirmatha Marine sanctuary has been banned since November 1 in view of the mass nesting of Olive Ridleys sea turtles on the beach.
With the arrest of seven fishermen, so far 19 fishermen have been arrested and 5 fishing boats seized by the forest officials.
The State Forest Department has imposed a ban on fishing around 20 km off the shore from November 1 to May 31 next to protect the endangered marine turtles, during their mass nesting at Gahirmatha Marine sanctuary.