Kendrapara: Waking up to threat
to crocodiles due to unlawful fishing, forest personnel
arrested 14 migrant fishermen on charge of trespassing into
the prohibited water-zone of Bhitarkanika National Park in
Orissa`s Kendrapara district.
A patrol squad intercepted three country boats and
arrested 14 people who were on board in the fishing vessels
yesterday, Forest department sources said today.
The interception took place on the southern-most part
of the national park along Maipura rivulet close to Gahirmatha
coast. The arrested people are all traditional inland migrant
fishermen living in Rangani village.
Fishing activities in the water-bodies of the wildlife
sanctuary and national park is a cognizable offence. Forest
department has stepped up vigil against any act of trespassing
into the prohibited territories to ensure safety of the flora,
fauna and the fragile eco-system of Bihtarkanika," said Manoj
Kumar Mahapatra, Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove
(wildlife) Forest Division.
The department is sensitising the people living along
the peripheral areas of the sanctuary asking them to reduce
their dependence on the forest and its adjoining water-bodies.
Besides fishing, collection of fuel-wood, honey, grass and
leaves from the forest is unlawful. This is why the department
has launched initiatives and comprehensive programmes to
provide alternative sources of livelihood for the villagers.