Forest department officials have decided to involve villagers for the protection of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles at the mouth of Rushikulya River near Ganjam in Odisha. A coordination meeting held in the presence of the fishery and forest department officials recently identified 27 villages adjoining the mass nesting site for this purpose, forest officials said on Sunday.
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The nesting of the Olive Ridleys is expected to be in the first week of March next year. Earlier, only three to four villages would be involved in protecting the marine creatures. “We have decided to involve more villages this time.
For this purpose we will conduct awareness campaigns in each of these village before the start of the mass nesting period,” Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Berhampur, A K Behera said.
Earlier, the forest officials had sought cooperation from fishermen and local people to ensure the safety of the Olive Ridleys. They have also decided to deploy more staff this time as the nesting site from Gokharakuda to Purunabandh is widening.
The government has already imposed a seven-month ban on fishing in around 170-km coastal area in the state, including that of Ganjam district, from November 1 to May 31 to protect the Olive Ridley turtles.