NEW DELHI: For seamless and effective dissemination of emergency information on disaster warnings to fishermen, the Centre Wednesday launched a mobile app that would provide warnings to fishermen who go for deep-sea fishing three days in advance.
At present, disaster warnings are limited to 10-12 km (typical ranges of mobile phones and VHF) off the coast but it was difficult to reach fishermen who they beyond 50 nautical miles; sometimes up to 300 nautical miles and beyond.
“This lacuna was severely felt during the Ockhi cyclone in 2017 when fishermen went out, for deep-sea fishing before the onset of the cyclone and could not be informed... This communication gap resulted in the loss of life, serious injuries to those rescued and severe damages to fishing boats and gear,” said an official of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
To overcome this difficulty, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) joined hands with Airports Authority of India (AAI) to utilize the GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) satellite system to transmit disaster warnings to fishermen. GAGAN foot-print covers the entire Indian Ocean round the clock.
To receive the messages transmitted through the GAGAN satellites, INCOIS together with AAI developed a low-cost GAGAN system-enabled GEMINI (GAGAN Enabled Mariner & Instrument for Navigation and Information) device.