As many as 19 fishermen were arrested for trespassing into the No Fishing Zone within Odisha’s Gahirmatha marine sanctuary for catching fish illegally with two vessels, officials said on Sunday. All 19 arrested fishermen were booked under Sections 27, 29 and 31 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act,1972 and punishable under Section 51 of the said legislation.
They were later produced before the JMFC court of Rajnagar which remanded them to jail custody after rejecting their bail pleas. The two vessels were seized for violating provisions of the Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act (OMFRA), 1982, Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and Orissa Marine Fishing Rules, 1983. The forest personnel also seized two GPS sets, fourVHF sets, tw fish finders,22 fishing nets,and four quintals of fish found in the two fishing vessels.
According to Manas Kumar Das, the In-charge Ranger of Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary the forest personnel during the routine sea surveillance at Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary chased and managed to intercept two fishing vessels for entering into the no fishing zone and arrested the fishermen.