32 fishermen were taken into custody by Forest Department personnel for carrying out unlawful fishing activity along the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Odisha.
Four fishing trawlers were seized along the prohibited marine sanctuary area near unmanned Nasi Island by the patrolling unit engaged by the Forest Department, a forest official said.
Prohibition on sea fishing remains in force round the year within the marine sanctuary limits.
Sea patrolling is stepped up within Gahirmatha marine sanctuary water territory during November-May every year in view of the annual mass nesting season of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles.
The arrested fishermen are natives of Bhadrak and Kendrapara district, they said.
The fishing vessels had trespassed into prohibited sanctuary corridors flouting the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act and mandatory rules of marine sanctuary, they said.
They were sent to jail custody under Section 27 and 29 of the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1982, the officials added.