KOCHI: The Navy will organise Sea Vigil, a national-level coastal security exercise to evaluate its surveillance and detention system in January. All agencies, including the Coast Guard, the Coastal Police, Marine Enforcement Wing, Fisheries Department and fishermen will be part of the exercise to evaluate the security system in coastal states and key installations, Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla said here on Monday.
“The role of the fishermen is key to coastal security as they know the sea and can easily identify an intruder. The country has a 7,500 km coastline and it is a tedious task to monitor the people entering or exiting the harbours. There are 11 major fish landing centres in Kerala itself. There are thousands of boats operating from the coastal states. Now Kerala has colour coded the boats based on our request. Kerala has been proactive in coastal security,” he said.
Chawla said providing transponders to the fishing boats will help to track the boats and understand the number of crew members on board the boat. This will be helpful during rescue missions. There will be a distress button in the boat and the fishermen can alert the navy when they face an unusual situation. If all fishing vessels are registered and fishermen are provided with identity cards, it will help to ensure coastal security, he said.