INDIA:BHUBANESWAR - In its bid to free Chilika from illegal prawn gheris which continue to strangle the brackish water lagoon, the Odisha Government, for the first time, is contemplating to initiate legal action against the encroachers.
So far, the administration has been resorting to demolition of gheris but without much success since the prawn cultures are back in business in no time. To arrest the trend, the Government has decided that the gheri owners will be booked under Odisha Marine Fishery Regulation Act (OMFRA) which prohibits poaching of prawn juveniles in restricted areas such as Chilika.
So expansive is the coverage of illegal gheris that currently over 13 per cent of the waterspread area of Chilika is under encroachment. The total area under illegal shrimp culture calculates to about 117 sq km at present. Of that, close to 76 per cent of the shrimp gheris are in Puri district, while 20 per cent come under Ganjam district administration. The rest 5 per cent are in Khurda district.
Source: New Indian Express