Need to Control Illegal Trawling Activities: High Court | Cuttack News
CUTTACK: The High court of Orissa Friday asserted that “there is an urgent need to ensure that patrols are stepped up to have effective control of illegal trawling activities” in Gahirmatha, the largest Olive Ridley sea turtle colony in the world.
The court expects the patrols to be made “effective by equipping law enforcement teams with adequate equipment and vehicles.”
The affirmation came after the amicus curiae, Mohit Agarwal, submitted a report on an alarming incident in which fishermen from illegally operating trawlers tied up and attacked a patrol boat on the Gahirmatha coast, leaving the boat damaged and its patrol staff injured on March 15.
Expressing concern at “the impunity with which illegally operating trawlers may break the law”, Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray led the regional Chief Conservator of the Forest (RCCF), Circle of Bhubaneswar, “To personally supervise the measures taken and to ensure strict compliance with the instructions issued by this court in coordination with the district administration”. In its report, the amicus curiae said: “Until the evening of March 18, none of the accused or their associates were arrested, and the offending boat was not found. This has severely affected the morale of the patrol staff and is not sending a good signal to other offenders during the current nesting season, ”Agarwal said in her report.
Taking note of this, the bench requested “an updated situation report” before it on the following date (April 12).
According to the amicus curiae report, the incident happened at 10:30 p.m. on the night of March 15. The Gahirmatha Nature Reserve patrol team and RPA police personnel detected a fishing trawler in the sanctuary area. When an attempt was made to intercept the trawler, members of the trawler crew attacked the patrol personnel with weapons. Five patrollers were injured. Subsequently, said trawler called in 10 other trawlers and all of them regrouped to drown the patrol boat, as well as the patrol personnel. Under these circumstances, the patrol boat was severely damaged and the personnel were injured.