Mrunal Manmay Dash

Some fishermen fishing illegally in the prohibited areas of Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary in Kendrapara allegedly attacked forest department officials on Tuesday.

The incident was reported from the Mahanadi river mouth in front of Hukitola in the sanctuary.

A fishing ban has been enforced in the area for the safe mass nesting of endangered Olive Ridley turtles that lay eggs in lakhs of numbers every year at the beach.

As per reports, an eleven-member forest department team was patrolling the area in a boat when they found around 15-20 trawlers fishing in the prohibited area.

When the forest employees asked them to stop fishing and move away from the prohibited area, they allegedly attacked the forest department employees.

Outnumbered by the fishermen, the forest dept staff somehow managed to flee the area by threatening them with their guns and informed the Dhamra Marine Police Station.

Odisha government clamps a seven-month ban on fishing activity along the 20-km stretch of Dhamra-Hukitola river mouth in Gahirmatha marine sanctuary every year from November to May in view of the commencement of mass nesting of Olive Ridley sea turtles.

The breeding turtles get killed by the trawlers which use mono-filament nets that entangle the turtles.

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