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Coast Guard to intercept illegal trawlers

Kendrapara: The Coast Guard has launched "Operation Oliver" to intercept illegal trawlers as part of its annual mission to ensure safe mid-sea sojourn of breeding Olive Ridley sea turtles on Odisha coast near Kendrapara district.

The state government agencies had sought our services in the turtle conservation programme, Coast Guard Commandant Ashutosh Behera said.

As the turtles have begun arriving enmasse for the mating season, an aircraft is being pressed into service for easy interception of illegal trawlers along the marine sanctuary water zone.

The Coast Guard has also mobilised an improvised ship for the purpose, he said.

"We do it every year for the safety of these rare marine animals. The patrol to keep a watch on trespassing sea-worthy trawlers is in full swing as turtles perish in large numbers after getting hit by propellers," Commandant Behera said.

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