Bhubaneswar: At least six fishermen were arrested for fishing near a turtle nesting site in Odisha's Kendrapada district, an official said Monday.
The wildlife officials nabbed the men Sunday when they were fishing in the core area of the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary, Divisional Forest Officer Kedar Kumar Swain told IANS.
A mechanised trawler and 100 kg of fish were also seized from them, he said.
The marine sanctuary is about 170 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.
This was the first arrest in the sanctuary after the seven month fishing ban came into effect Nov 1, he added. The state has imposed a fishing ban along 120 km of the state's 480 km coastline to protect sea turtles, which come to the beaches for nesting during winter.
The ban remains effective till May 31.
The Gahirmatha marine sanctuary is one of the world's largest turtle nesting sites, where about a half a million, endangered Olive Ridley turtles congregate in the sea waters between October and November and nest between December and March.
There was no mass nesting last year probably due to the damage caused here by the Cyclone Phailin, which ripped through the coast in October and caused extensive destruction, he said.