Bhubaneswar, Jan 24: Forest officials Thursday arrested 39 men for fishing near a turtle nesting site in Odisha’s Kendrapada district, an official said.
The accused were nabbed near the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary, about 170 kms from here, a forest official told IANS. Four mechanised trawlers used by the accused in fishing were seized, he said.
Gahirmatha is one of the world’s largest turtle nesting sites and where 700,000-800,000 endangered Olive Ridley turtles congregate in the sea waters between October and November and nest between December and March.
Thousands of turtles get killed every year mostly by mechanised trawlers and fishing boats.
The government has imposed a seven-month fishing ban along 120 km of the state’s 480 km coastline till May 31.