BERHAMPUR: With massive nesting of olive ridley turtles about to take place, the Ganjam District Forestry Department, with the help of stakeholders, is stepping up measures to protect endangered species during this time.
In a meeting on Saturday, Berhampur’s DFO Amlan Nayak said patrols off the coast of Ganjam began after the seven-month fishing ban came into effect to protect olive ridley turtles on November, 1st.
According to DFO, four vessels, including three speedboats and a trawler, have been patrolling the sea since last week to crack down on trawlers and mechanized boats in no-fishing zones.
Forestry staff have been deployed to 11 camps to ensure the safety of sea turtles.
Three control rooms in the five kilometers of coast where mass nesting takes place have been opened, including one near the mouth of the river.
To facilitate mass nesting, forestry officials decided to make a fence around the stretch from Gokharakuda to Podampeta.
In addition, the cleaning of the beach and the sensitization of fishermen in villages near the mouths are underway.
To compensate for the loss of income, the state government decided to extend one-time livelihood assistance of 7,500 rupees to affected families, Nayak said.
In Ganjam, up to 3,638 families from nine villages will benefit from the compensation.
“Last year nesting was sporadic, but this year we are hoping for mass nesting and taking all necessary measures,” DFO added.
Marking the start of the massive turtle nesting season, the state government banned fishing activities within 12 miles of the coast at the mouths of the Dhamara, Devi and Rusikulya rivers from November 1 to May 31.