KOCHI: Representatives of fishermen in the state have demanded the fishermen be provided with two-way communication devices which will help them contact officers and fellow fishermen during crisis. The representatives, who attended a workshop organised by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute on Wednesday, said the Navic gadgets – which have been developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation and which the government is planning to distribute among fishermen – were only good for receiving communication.
“The wireless sets provided by the Fisheries Department work only up to 20 nautical miles (37.04 km) and Navic devices are only good for receiving information. There should be a provision for us to contact people at shore in case of emergency,” said Fishing Boat Operators Association president Peter Mathias at a session during the workshop. “In Kollam, the boats are using a sea mobile which can operate up to 50 nautical miles (92.6 km).
The installation cost is Rs 33,000. This should be extended to 100 nautical miles (185.2 km),” he said. Most of the fishermen's representatives expressed willingness to cooperate with the decision to launch a token system to have a database regarding the fishermen and vessels venturing into the sea from each harbour. Many complained the weather warnings provided by authorities were inaccurate and said the warnings should be classified according to the gravity of the situation. Dayanandan, a traditional fisherman, sought the introduction of a mechanism for responsible fishing to protect marine resources. He also demanded the number of fishing boats and fishing hours be regulated.
P V Pavithran, another fisherman, demanded the implementation of a fisheries package and distribution of subsidy for procurement of fishing equipment. He said fishing harbours should be developed every 15 km along the coastline to help fishermen reach shore safely during sea surge and cyclones. N P Radhakrishnan, a fisherman from Kozhikode, demanded steps to create awareness among fishermen on the facilities provided by the government.
The state government should form a separate disaster management authority for the fishing sector. Ambrose from Kollam demanded the recruitment of educated people from the fishermen community to the Coastal Police and Marine Enforcement Wing for better coordination during rescue operations. CMFRI principal scientist Shyam S Salim was the moderator of the session.
3-day SAFARI-2 International Symposium concludes
Kochi: The second International Symposium of Societal Applications in Fisheries and Aquaculture using Remote Sensing Imagery (SAFARI-2) organised by the CMFRI, which held wide-ranging discussions on the use of remote sensing data from satellites to ensure the fishers' safety, concluded here on Wednesday. As many as 63 papers and 48 posters including those on biodiversity; aquatic environment and ecology; harvest fisheries; fisheries management; socio-economic, communication technologies in disaster management and aquaculture were presented during the various technical sessions held at the three-day seminar. Scientists working on ocean satellite data, technocrats, oceanographers, marine experts and policy makers from across the world presented their views.