9 fishermen sent to jail, 2 trawlers seized along with fish catch
Nine fishermen were arrested and later sent to jail today on the charges of entering unauthorisedly and catching fish illegally at the protected zone of Gahirmatha Marine sanctuary.
The Bhitarkanika forest personnel today intercepted two mechanized fishing boats from the prohibited zone and arrested the fishermen.
They seized fish catch and fishing nets along with other fishing equipment from the possession of the arrested fishermen.
Gahirmatha Marine sanctuary Ranger Suvendu Behera said the two trawlers trespassed into the protected area of Gahirmatha Marine sanctuary and the fishermen were seen catching fish illegally near Chinchiri after entering the prohibited zone of marine sanctuary.
The arrested fishermen were later produced before the JMFC court of Pattamundai under various Sections of the wildlife protection Act, 1972. The court remanded them into jail custody after rejecting their bail petitions, the Ranger said.
Earlier on last Saturday, the forest personnel had arrested five fishermen and seized a fishing vessel near Agarnashi.
With the arrest of nine fishermen and two fishing vessels, the forest personnel had so far seized 10 mechanised fishing trawlers and arrested 45 fishermen on the charges of illegally catching fish in the prohibited zone of Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary this season.
The Forest Department has imposed a ban on all types of fishing around 20 km off the shore from November1 to May 31 2013 to give protection to the mass nesting of the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles at Gahirmatha Marine sanctuary.