Economy

Plan to bring fishing community under PFZ project

PTI Hyderabad | Updated on August 03, 2011

The Indian National Centre of Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is working towards covering the entire fishing community of the country under the Potential Fishing Zone advisory services that deliver accurate information on fish abundance.

INCOIS has already covered all the coastal states of the country under this initiative.

INCOIS officials said plans are afoot on expanding the reach and accuracies of Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) advisories to cater to the needs of the entire fishing population, which is estimated at 1,44,85,354, according to 2005 figures.

The plan, once expanded, would also vastly and significantly increase the income level of fishermen, they said.

“Though we are covering all the coastal states, we are now planning to cover the entire fishermen community. There are over 1 lakh fishing mechanised, motorised vessels, out of which, about 60,000 vessels are utilising PFZ advisories,” a scientist at INCOIS told PTI.

“In addition to the mechanised boats, there are more than 1 lakh traditional fishing crafts (small boats). Now we are aiming to cover them also as only few of such fishermen have been able to get data,” the scientist said.

Modalities were being worked upon to reach all the fishermen community in 4,500 fishing villages through various modes, he said.

The PFZ advisories contain details such as the latitudes and longitudes of the areas of fish abundance and the distance and direction from different fishing harbours.

The advisories, based on satellite data, are disseminated in local languages thrice a week in collaboration with various modes like email, Electronic Display Boards (EDB), Doordarshan, Village Resource Centres of ISRO and in collaboration with various NGOs.

These advisories have been found to be both timely, accurate and of significant value to the fishing community that also helped in enhancing their income level.

As part of the expansion plan, INCOIS will install EDB in all the fishing harbours in the next one to two years that will disseminate information on weather condition, fish potential, besides sending advisories through SMSs, the scientist said.

Advisories were being provided in all the coastal states at 200 major fishing harbours as of now and INCOIS seeks to increase that number to about 500 fishing harbours in the next 2-3 years.

“The expansion plan is projected for the entire 12th Five-Year Plan, but our target is to complete the coverage by the mid of the 12th Five-Year Plan,” he said.

According to a survey by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), if all the mechanised crafts, motorised crafts and traditional crafts adopt PFZ, the fishing activity is estimated to contribute to around 2.04 per cent of national GDP, which will in turn contribute income to about Rs 60,000 crore.

Published on August 03, 2011

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