The Orissa government has imposed a three-month ban on fishing inside the 20km prohibited zone along the state's coast to save endangered Olive Ridley turtles, who arrive in the winter for breeding.
The ban would be effective from January 1 to March 31, 2003, chief of Coast Guard (Eastern Region) R S Vasan told mediapersons in Bhubaneswar.
Also, any trawler or mechanised boat found without the turtle excluder device (TED) would be fined and its licence revoked. Entry of outside trawlers has also been restricted during the breeding and nesting season, he said.
The Coast guard, which is helping the government in protecting the turtles, has intensified patrolling across the Orissa coast and also begun an awareness campaign among the fisher folk in the area to enlist their cooperation, he said.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been asked to switch off the lights at its missile test firing centre on Wheeler Island in Bhadrak district during the period to avoid disturbing the turtles, Vasan said.