Orissa lifts six-month ban fishing ban

June 1st, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by admin  

Kendrapada (Orissa), June 1 (IANS) Large numbers of fishermen in Orissa’s Kedrapada district Sunday ventured into the Bay of Bengal on their country-made boats after the state government Saturday night lifted the six-month fishing ban to protect turtles. The ban was imposed in November on fishing in the 35-km belt along the coastline from Gahirmatha to Hukitola Island in Bhitarkanika sanctuary, some 174 km from Bhubaneswar, forest officer Prasan Kumar Behera said.

Every year thousands of turtles come to the sanctuary, the largest rookery of the Olive Ridley sea turtles in the world, for mass nesting during February and March.

The ban was imposed to provide them a trouble-free environment. Despite the fishing ban, the turtles, however, skipped the beach this year, Behera said.

“I repaired my two boats last month during the fishing ban period,” Narahari Maiti, a marine fisherman of the seaside village Jamboo, said.

“Today I and my brother are venturing into the sea with a hope that we will get good a quantity of fishes,” he added.

Many traditional fishermen usually do farming and other odd works during the ban period. Some of them go to other states during the period in search of livelihood.

Once the ban is lifted, many of them return to their villages to continue their fishing.

At least 25,000 people of the district depend on fishing in the Bay of Bengal, president of district fishermen’s association Anatha Das said.

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