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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Puri: In view of the breeding season of Olive Ridley sea turtles, the Odisha Government on Sunday imposed a seven-month ban on fishing within five kilometres in the sea from Baliharchandi Arhud to Devinasi of Astaranga beach to protect the nests of the endangered species.

Use of motor boats, trawlers and mechanised fishing boats has been prohibited along the stretch. Similarly, fishing within 20 km stretch from the mouths of Devi river and Keluni has also been banned by the forest and marine departments.

The government has set up patrolling camps, including five off-shore camps in places like Devi Mouth, Devinasi, Jahania, Daluakani, Kanarapur and Chandrabhaga to keep a close watch on fishermen.

“We are trying to give our best in providing protection to the endangered species of olive Ridley sea turtles this year. The process will continue till the end of May,” stated Srikant Behera, Assistant Conservator of Forest, Puri division.

The olive Ridley sea turtles come to Gahirmatha beach in Kendrapara, Devi river mouth in Puri and Rushikulya river mouth in Ganjam district every year during winter for mass nesting.

(Edited by Ramakant Biswas)

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