Odisha government banned fishing to protect Olive Ridley turtles

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Who: Banned on fishing on Odisha Coast
What: Enforced by Odisha government
When: 2 November 2015
Why: To protect endangered Olive Ridley turtles that nests along the coast during winters

Odisha Government on 2 November 2015 imposed a seven-month ban on fishing along the coast. The ban will be in force from 1 November 2015 to 31 May 2016.

The forest department of the state imposed the ban with an aim to protect the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles that nests along the coast during winters.

The restriction has been imposed as per Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act (OMFRA), 1982 and provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

For this purpose of securing the turtles, the trawlers and fishermen have been directed
• Not to fish within 20 kilometer off the coastline in the turtle nesting sites.
• Use of motor boats and mechanised trawlers for fishing within 5 km from the coast between Astarang and Baliharchandi in Puri district has also been prohibited.
• The violators of the order will be punished under the OMFRA.

The over half a million endangered Olive Ridley turtles annually arrive during winters for mass nesting in three nesting sites, namely
• Rushikulya river mouth in Ganjam district
• Devi river mouth in Puri district
• Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Kendrapada district

The Gahirmatha turtle sanctuary is one of the world’s largest turtle nesting sites.

These turtles arrive and congregate in the shallow coastal water of the Bay of Bengal in November and climb ashore for nesting between December and March. Most hatchlings emerge by May.