Karnataka fishermen knock on PM's door for help
Leading fishermen bodies in Karnataka have highlighted the need for the adoption of new technologies in the states fishing sector.
They have also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi under the aegis of Indian Fishermen for Technology Adoption (IFTA), seeking his direct intervention to spur the adoption of new technologies in the sector.
Prominent boat owners and fishing community leaders in Gujarat had also written to the PM recently and highlighted similar issues.
Ganapati Mangre, Chairman of The North Kanara District Co-Operative Fish Marketing Federation Limited, elaborating on the community's challenges, said, "The lives of hundreds and thousands of fishermen are lost at sea every year due to the unavailability of modern connectivity technologies such as satellite based navigation systems that can connect Indian fishermen with mobile devices offering timely SoS alerts and harvesting predictions to ensure better catches and safety while at sea. We urge the government's help for the industry to adopt new technologies to address this great risk to our lives and livelihoods."
Yashpal Suvarna, President South Kanara and Udupi district co operative Fish Marketing Federation Limited Mangalore said, "The incident involving four fishermen who went missing at Malpe recently and the loss of lives from the Suvarna Tribhuja incident last year remain painfully etched in our collective memory and made us realise that our usual methods of communication and warnings were not adequate to respond to tragedies like these. It is high time that India adopts the highly-advanced communications and connectivity technologies that are already available to ensure the fishing sector benefits from them in the longer term."
"The Center must implement their adoption via standardising quality of technologies available across the states. We have tested BSNL's transponder, which has two-way data communication directly over satellite and works in the deep sea. We urge the Prime Minister's direct intervention and request his government to broadly deploy the latest technology immediately. We need a solution today as any delay will continue to endanger the safety and security of fishermen at sea," they added.
The adoption of next-generation digital and satellite communications technologies would raise productivity of fishing harvests, create world-class competitiveness, apart from addressing the immediate and urgent challenge to ensure the safety of the state's fishermen on the high seas.