Kendrapara: In mid-sea surveillance, the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary personnel in the wee hour of Monday arrested 14 fishermen for illegally catching fish at the ‘No Fishing zone’ after trespassing into the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary.
All the 14 arrested fishermen were booked under Section 27,29,31 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act,1972 and punishable under Section 51 of the Act.
They were later produced before the JMFC court of Rajnagar which remanded them into jail custody after rejecting their bail pleas.
Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary Ranger Manas Kumar Das, said the sanctuary personnel have seized two fishing trawlers, about 9.12 quintals of fish catch, 11 trawling nets,2 VHF sets and other fishing equipment from the arrested fishermen.
Das said the patrolling team came across a fishing vessel and a mechanised fishing boat near Ekakula inside the prohibited zone of Gahirmatha Marine sanctuary.
The team rushed to the spot and managed to intercept the fishing vessels and arrested the fishermen.
Fishing ban has been imposed 20 kms off the coast of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary for a period of seven months since November 1 to protect the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles who come in lakhs for mass nesting.