Odisha Forest Dept Suspends Official For Embezzling Fish Seized From Gahirmatha
Kendrapara: A forest department official, engaged in Olive Ridley turtle protection exercise at the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, was suspended on Thursday for alleged embezzlement of fish seized from a trawler.
Though around 18 quintals of sea fish had been recovered, the staff had put the quantity on record at only two quintals, Rajnagar Mangrove (Wildlife) Divisional Forest Officer Bikash Ranjan Das said.
A departmental inquiry has been initiated into the incident. Disciplinary action will be taken if further embezzlement of seized goods is detected, he said.
A ban on sea-fishing remains in force round-the-year in Gahirmatha coast, which is regarded as the largest habitation corridor of the endangered Olive Ridley turtles in the world.
Since November 1, when the turtle protection patrolling was undertaken, the forest department has arrested more than 60 sea-going fishermen, and seized eight trawlers for violating provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1982, the official added.
(With PTI Inputs)