THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Steps should be taken to ensure the safety of fishermen at sea with the merchant vessel traffic growing considerably in the region, the Latin Archbishop of Thiruvananthapuram Dr M Soosa Pakiam said here on Monday.
Soosa Pakiamwas speaking after inaugurating a sit-in organised by the Kerala Fisheries Joint Action Council in front of the Secretariat.
The fishermen were trying to eke out a living in an area used by about 1,500 ships every day.
There should be effective coordination among the Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Enforcement with the added involvement of the fisherfolk, the Archbishop said.
Although he lauded the prompt action taken by the State Government in the Enrica Lexie case as well as the second incident where a ship rammed a fishing craft, Soosa Pakiam said that the search and rescue mechanisms were pitiably inadequate.
The Latin Archbishop demanded a satellite-based hotline system to provide fishermen with the latest information as well as to speed up rescue operations.