Satellite technology to help fishermen in Kerala
Wednesday, 28 March 2007, 05:00 Hrs
Thiruvananthapuram: Satellite technology supplied by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will soon come in aid of nearly 600,000 fishermen in Kerala for identifying shoals of fish in nine fishing districts. Kerala Fisheries Minister S. Sarma informed the assembly that in the next fiscal, satellites will identify the potential fishing zones (PFZ) and would pass on information to the fishermen in Kerala on a regular basis with the help of the fisheries department. "We have had several rounds of discussions with the ISRO officials in this regard who have already identified the technology to spot the PFZ. This would be a huge boost for fishing activities in the state as well as for fishermen in Kerala," said Sarma. "ISRO has also promised to help the fishermen with a 'rescue beacon'. Both these facilities would be available in the coming fiscal," Sarma added. K. Sivadasan Nair, the Congress legislator who raised this issue, said the technology has already become a success in Thailand. "As and when it comes into effect, fishing would certainly become much easier. It would also help reduce the expense incurred by fishermen because they will be clearly told where the density of fish lie," said Nair. In Kerala, there are 222 marine fishing villages with the capital district having a maximum of 42. Currently, the fisheries sector accounts for a mere 1.44 percent of the state's gross domestic product. The total production of fish in the country stands at 6.3 million tonnes, with Kerala accounting for 637,000 tonnes.