Odisha: Operation launched to protect Olive Ridley

Odisha: Operation launched to protect Olive Ridley Kendrapara: 'Operation Oliver' has been launched by the Odisha government to protect Olive Ridley turtles arriving for mating at the Garimata sanctuary in Kendrapara district.

The Cost Guard has deployed a ship and a Dornier aircraft to keep watch for fishermen, for whom Garimata is off limits.

"We do it every year for safety of the turtles who die if they are hit by propellors of trawlers or get entangled in fishing nets," Deputy Inspector General, Coast Guard, Paradip K P S Raghuvamshi said today.

"A high-power committee of Odisha government has sought our services in the turtle conservation programme," he said.

"Accordingly the operation to keep vigil on illegal fishing along the turtle concentration zone is in full swing," Raghuvamshi said.

Patrol vessels of the forest and fisheries department often sought assistance from Coast Guard ships in the event of exigencies, he said.

The patrol in turtle congregation sites would be in force till marine turtles finish laying eggs on beaches, the CG DIG said.

The Coast Guard had earlier asked the state fisheries department to issue identity cards to fishermen in coastal villages.

Identification of Bangladeshis infiltrating by sea is a cumbersome process due to similarity in language, looks and physical features with local Bengali-speaking fishermen, Coast Guard sources said.

"Often we find ourselves in catch-22 situation. The crew members from intercepted vessels are found to be Bengali-speaking. There is very little to distinguish between a Bangladeshi and a migrant Bengali fisherman on the basis of physical features and language," Raghuvamshi said.