Trawler intercepted near Gahirmatha, crew arrested

Kendrapara: Eight crew members were arrested after a deep sea trawler was intercepted off the Gahirmatha coast in Odisha for carrying illegally fishing within the limits of prohibited marine sanctuary.

The fishermen from Balasore district were taken into custody after their trawler was intercepted near the Babubali Island near the sanctuary by a joint Coast Guard-forest patrol, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Rajnagar Mangrove (Wildlife) Division Manoj Kumar Mohapatra said on Friday.

They were charged under the Wildlife Protection Act and Orissa Marine Fisheries Regulation Act. The fishing prohibition would remain in force till May 31, 2012 to make the annual sojourn of Olive Ridley turtles safe.

Altogether 27 fishermen have so far been taken into custody and four deep sea trawlers seized since November 1 in enforcement of the fishing ban along the 20 km stretch of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary.