A top official from the Union Agriculture Ministry has stressed the need to issue biometric identity cards to the people actively involved in fishing activities across the coastal areas of the country to extend benefits and services.

Inaugurating a national-level workshop on ‘Adoption of Space Technology for Fisheries’ in Mangaluru on Monday, Ashok Kumar Angurana, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries in the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, said that fishermen can get benefits of various government schemes and services, if they are issued biometric cards.

Though the country has around 1.4 crore fishermen, 20 lakh of them are actively involved in fishing activities. The three public sector undertakings that have been given the task of issuing biometric cards to fishermen have covered around 13.5 lakh. Still nearly 6.5 lakh fishermen need to be issued such cards, he said.

It is essential for such fishermen to register for suitable linkages, convergences and coordination with various ministries in the State and Central governments and other agencies involved in fisheries sector.

Angurana suggested that three public sector undertakings coordinate with different State governments and union territories along the coast and devise a definite schedule of action to issue biometric cards to the rest of fishermen.