Bhubaneswar: Encouraging protection of olive ridley sea turtles, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy Thursday asked all concerned to take pride for sea turtle conservation and make it another modern identity of Odisha.
Chairing a high-power committee for protection and conservation of olive ridley sea turtles at Lok Seva Bhawan here Thursday evening, Tripathy 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 them.”
It should be transformed into a mass campaign through people’s involvement so as to brand it with Odisha, he said.
The chief secretary further directed the departments of Fisheries, 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 Paradip port authorities were requested to follow the black-out and light deeming practices to save the turtles from possible delusion.
It was decided at the meeting that fishing ban would be in force from November, 2019 to May 2020. Compensation amount of Rs 7,500 would be given to about 8,000 fishermen families whose livelihood will be affected due to fishing ban.
Tripathy directed the departments concerned not to cause unnecessary harassment to the small traditional fishermen without power boats and catch hold of the real criminals who cause damage to the turtles.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Sandeep Tripathy said fishing by the trawlers with 30 hp or more power would be banned up to 20 km inside the sea, particularly in olive congregation area and their buffer zones in three river mouths – Dhamara, Devi and Rushikulya.
PCCF, Wildlife Hari Sankar Upadhyaya said, “There would be 66 offshore patrolling camps this year. Babubali, Agarnasi, Devinasi and Purunabandha will be bases for sea patrolling.”
Four berthing places at Barunei, Gupti, Sanapeta and Krishnapriyapur will be set up for safe custody of seized vessels. Conservation and protection activities will be carried on in coordination with Coast Guard, Naval wing, ITR, Fisheries & Animal Resources department, police, port authorities, community based organisations and Forest & Environment department, he said.
The meeting deliberated on Action Plan for 2019-20 under which awareness activities would be undertaken. A central monitoring unit would be set up in the office of the PCCF, Wildlife.
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.