Kendrapara (Odisha): At-least nine fishermen have been held for alleged unlawful fishing activity along the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary, Forest Department Wednesday said.
The trawler used by the fishermen along the prohibited breeding zones of endangered marine animals was seized by the patrolling unit engaged by forest department for conservation of olive ridley sea turtles, a highly threatened species.
The trawlers had trespassed into prohibited sanctuary corridors last night defying provisions of Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act 1982 and mandatory rules of marine sanctuary, forest officials said.
Sea patrolling has been stepped up within Gahirmatha marine sanctuary water territory in view of the annual mass nesting season of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles.
The state government has clamped fishing ban along the 20 km stretch of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary from November 1.
Rise in mortality rate of mating turtles along the coastal water surface led to the clamping of prohibition as the gill nets used by the trawlers kill the breeding turtles, forest officials said.
The species, accorded as schedule-1 animal under Wildlife Protection Act for its highly threatened status, get entangled in the nets for prolonged period and die of asphyxiation. The turtles also perish in large number after getting hit by the fast moving propeller of the fishing trawlers.