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Posted on Nov 22, 09:43PM | UNI
Coast Guard today launched 'operation Olivia' with a twin objective of protecting the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles and preventing the intruders from entering the mainland through sea route.
Under the "operation Olivia", the coast guard has deployed two ships --Razia Sultana and Sarojini Naidu and some speedy boats with modern equipments to guard the Odisha coast.
All the suspected ships and fishing vessels were being searched by the Coast Guard personnel to prevent poaching of sea turtles. The movement of trawlers in the water of Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary was also being restricted during the mating season to prevent turtle deaths.
Coast Guard DIG K P S Raghuvanshi said along with ship and aircraft of Coast Guard, the vessels of forest and Fishing Department were deployed within Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary under the "operation Olivia".
The Coast Guard, the nodal agency for protecting the environment in coastal areas has been launching 'Operation Olive' off Odisha coast every year from November to May for 15 days a month for protection of turtles.
The operation Olivia was first started in 1999 after more than 16,000 Olive ridley sea turtles were killed in 1998 off the Odisha coast, Coast Guard has opened a center in Gopalpur in Ganjam district since November one last to monitor the 484 kms long coastline of the state to prevent influx of infiltrators , terrorist activities via sea route along with protecting the marine turtle under "operation Olivia".
Last year, Coast Guard personnel had seized 6 foreign fishing vessels, including five Sri Lanka and one Bangladeshi boats, and arrested 40 foreign nationals for illegally intruding to the Inidan territory. It also seized 11 fishing vessels and arrested 106 fishermen for fishing illegally, Mr Raghunvansi said.