Marine fishery is the major source of livelihood of the coastal fishers of Orissa. There are about 88,244 fishermen along the coast, out of which 76% is actively engaged in fishing in coastal waters. To conserve the fish stock and biodiversity, the Orissa Marine Fisheries Regulation Act (OMFRA) and other Rules have been enacted in Orissa in abidance of which ban on fishing from 15th April to 31st May is imposed every year along the coast. Besides, Orissa coast being the breeding and nesting site of rare Olive Ridley Sea turtles, several conservative measures are made effective during their arribada. Fishing has been prohibited in specified turtle congregation areas namely, Devi River Mouth, Rushikulya River Mouth and Dhamara River Mouth by all the mechanized vessels within 20 km radius form the coast during the period 1st November to 31st May each year. The livelihood of the poor marine fishermen of the area is adversely affected due to the above measures as they have no alternatives for their subsistence during the ban period. These fishers are mostly landless or having small land holding that is not sufficient to sustain their livelihood.
Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) has a major component of addressing the cause of securing livelihood of the fisher folk in the project area (coastal stretches from Gopalpur to Chilika and Paradeep to Dhamra) on a pilot basis. This component is implemented through Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department (F&ARD)and aimed at providing the best alternate livelihood options /support to 80 fishing villages comprising 600 SHG’s and above 9000 families in both the coastal stretches. The Department will promote allied fishery activities and support the local fishing communities during ban on fishing and also Olive Ridley nesting period. The below mentioned alternative livelihood options would be promoted by Fisheries & ARD Department with an objective to reduce pressure on marine fishery resources and provide alternate livelihood source for the fisher folks.