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Odisha to make Olive Ridley conservation a mass campaign, formulates  series  of protection measures

Bhubaneswar, Nov 14 (UNI) Odisha government today decided to take a series of steps for the conservation and protection of Olive Ridley Sea turtles. Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy  urged the officials  to actively involve  the people  and  make  the turtle conservation progamme a mass campaign and brand it with Odisha.  Presiding over a High Power Committee for Protection and Conservation of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles here, Mr Trpathy advised all  departments concerned to make sea turtle conservation another identity of Odisha. He said since the Olive Ridley breeding in Odisha has significant impact on the world population of these rare species,”we must take pride for protecting it.

Reviewing the steps taken so far for the conservation and protection of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles, the Chief Secretary directed the departments of Fishery, Forest and Marine police to operate in close coordination and ensure  strict enforcement of the conservation rules. The Coast Guard was requested to have real time intelligence sharing with the departments about any illegal fishing. The institutions like Interim Test Range, DRDO, Dhamara Port, Gopalpur Port and Paradeep port authorities were requested to follow the black-out and light deeming practices to save the turtles from possible delusion.

The government also decided to pay a compensation of Rs.7500 per month to around 8000 fishermen families to be affected due to fishing ban which would be in force from November 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020. PCCF Sandeep Tripathy  said fishing by the trawlers with 30 HP or more would be banned up to 20 km inside the sea, particularly in Olive congregation area and  their buffer zones in three river mouths namely Dhamara, Devi and Rushikulya.  PCCF, Wild Life Hari Sankar Upadhya said, “There would be 66 off shore patrolling camps this year. Babubali, Agarnasi, Devinasi and Purunabandha willbe base camp  for sea going petrol.

Berthing places will be set up at Barunei, Gupti,Sanapeta and Krishnapriyapur for safe custody of seized vessels. Conservation and protection activities will be carried on in coordination with coast guard, naval wing, ITR,Fisheries, Animal Resource department, Police, various Port authorities, community based organizations and forest & environment department, he said. The meeting decided  to launch  wide awareness activities for the conservation and protection of Olive Ridlety sea turtles. A central monitoring unit would be set up in the office of the PCCF, Wild Life. There would be circle level monitoring mechanisms under the direct supervision of Regional Conservator of Forests (RCCF), Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Baripada.

They would coordinate with other law enforcing agencies and involve local NGOs in the activities. Each patrolling camp would be provided with VHF Communication devices, mobile phones and required camping materials. There would be regular communication and intelligence sharing among coast guard, patrolling ship, and various camps and marine police. APR force would be deployed for patrolling and enforcement activities. Collectors would depute magistrates to remain in charge of APR force placed at disposal of DFOs. The industries and ports along the coast were requested to comply with the lighting regulations.

Sporadic nesting activities of the turtles and their mortality would be monitored through a web portal under the title ‘manage.odishawildlife.org’ .Soon after mass nesting, the rookeries would be fenced to protect the nests and eggs, official sources here said.