Vadodara (Gujarat) [India], August 29 (ANI): A man was arrested in Gujarat's Vadodara on Saturday for selling sea fans, an invertebrate sea animal that forms a critical part of the coral reef system.
According to the police, a total of 862 pieces of sea fans were recovered from the accused. Some of them were recovered in a raw form while other pieces were seized in the form of photo frames, said the police.
The police also stated that most people keep the coral animal in their houses out of the superstitious belief that it brings good luck and money.
Giving out information on the case, Nidhi Dave, Range Forest Officer (RFO), Vadodara told ANI, "Acting upon the inputs of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) we with the assistance of the WCCB created a trap. In this trap, WCCB officials disguised themselves as buyers of sea fans to nab the accused owner of the shop where these were sold illegally. We have seized the coral in two forms. One is the raw one in the form of sea fans which were seized from a godown and others were seized in the form of photo frames which are usually purchased for decoration purposes. We have seized a total of 862 pieces of sea fans."
She further said, "Many people also believe that keeping sea fans in their houses or offices brings good luck and money. Looking at all these sets of superstitions, I would like to send out this message to the people that keeping any kind of wildlife at their homes is punishable under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Also, if they keep anything among those listed in schedule 1 of the act, then it is punishable with jail upto seven years as per law. Things that are found in very little quantity including sea fans are listed under Schedule 1 of the Act."
Stating that every wildlife creature plays an important role in maintaining the environmental balance, she urged every citizen to fulfil their responsibility towards the environment by protecting and conserving wildlife. (ANI)