Paying attention to the excessive mortality of Olive Ridley marine turtles on Odisha coast resulting from fishing trawlers, a division bench of Orissa excessive court docket on Tuesday requested the state authorities to implement prohibition of fishing actions by trawlers close to Devi river mouth with the assistance of marine police station and Coast Guard. The bench headed by chief justice S Murlidhar additionally ordered the state authorities to supply the three marine police stations of Talachua, Tantiapal and Jamboo with sea-patrolling boats and extra pressure for the safety of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary that has the most important rookery of the Olive Ridley sea turtles.
“The mortality of the turtles alongside the Odisha coast is especially resulting from trawling operations. There may be incidental killing of the turtles resulting from suffocation in fishing nets of trawlers or by accidents inflicted by the propellers of the trawlers. Enforcement actions needs to be continued to stop the motion and fishing by trawlers within the prohibited space of Devi River mouth and Gahirmatha,” the HC mentioned.
The court docket final month registered a PIL suo motu over media stories that 800 Olive Ridleys perished in Gahirmatha marine sanctuary since January this 12 months. The Olive Ridleys, protected below Schedule I of Wildlife Safety Act, 1972, come to Odisha coast yearly for mass nesting when lakhs of pregnant females select slender seashores at Gahirmatha, Devi river mouth and Rushikulya river mouth to put eggs. Every grownup feminine lays roughly 100-140 eggs at a time. In March this 12 months, round 8 lakh turtles laid eggs in Rushikulya and Gahirmatha websites.
Accepting the suggestions of a three-member committee that it had shaped to look into the difficulty of deaths of Olive Ridley sea turtles alongside the Odisha coast, the HC mentioned no-fishing zones needs to be clearly demarcated.
“The nesting seashore at Gahirmatha needs to be fenced up on the landward facet on the finish of the seashore with momentary wire mesh over a size of three kilometres to guard the nesting Olive Ridleys, eggs and hatchlings from predators like feral canine, wild pigs, jackals and hyenas. The prevailing momentary fencing at Goharkuda Purunabandha seashore needs to be strengthened likewise,” the HC mentioned.
The court docket additionally mentioned the boundary of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary with its geo-coordinates needs to be uploaded in GPS methods of all fishing boats by the fisheries division in order that their motion within the sea will be clearly recorded.
“The state authorities will provoke a dialogue with the Indian Area Analysis Organisation on the feasibility of putting in transponders in all mechanized fishing vessels and trawlers to allow their monitoring within the sea. This has already been achieved in Tamil Nadu,” the HC mentioned.
Quoting the stories of chief wildlife warden of Odisha, the HC mentioned greater than 46,000 Olive Ridley turtles have been killed on Odisha coast in final 10 years, of which, 60% deaths have occurred on the rookery close to Devi river mouth. It was
estimated that the present mortality continues to be on the fee of about 4,000 to 7,000 Olive Ridley sea turtles yearly.
Earlier, the HC-appointed committee mentioned of their report back to the court docket that there was no level in emphasising the usage of Turtle Excluder Gadgets on fishing trawlers on the coast as its enforcement has been extraordinarily troublesome.