Minister Jain Inaugurates National Workshop on Adoption of Space Technology

Minister Abhayachandra Jain Inaugurates National Workshop on Adoption of Space Technology for Fisheries

Mangaluru: Minister for Fisheries, Abhaychandra Jain inaugurated the two-day national workshop on ‘Adoption of Space Technology for Fisheries’ by lighting the traditional lamp at Hotel Moti Mahal here, on January 4.

The workshop was jointly organised by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare.

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Secretary of Department of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Government of Karnataka, Dr N S Chennappa Gowda welcomed the gathering and said, “Karnataka has about 320km of coastline and about 4.5 million tons of fish is being produced every year. For the development and welfare of the fishermen in this region, the Government of Karnataka has taken several measures like promotion of sea food restaurants, building of retail fish markets for the sale of hygienic fish and provided diesel subsidy to the fishing vessels. There is a need of using IT solutions to transfer the subsidy directly to the beneficiaries and to save fuel consumption by application of space technology in identifying fish density and provide safety to the fishermen.”

Secretary of Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, Ashok Kumar Angurana in his keynote address said that Mangaluru was the first city and Karnataka was the first state to hold a national level seminar on implementation of Space Technologies for Fisheries. “A national level seminar on fisheries was held at Vighyan Bhawan, New Delhi on September 7, 2015 in the presence of the Prime Minister, in which the PM had stated that the ‘recommendations that had come forward in the seminar could be implemented only if the major stake holders like the State Governments, Union Territories and Fishermen are taken on board.’ The blue revolution will be just a ‘hollow slogan’ if there is no participation by these stake holders. The PM had stressed on development of the fishing sector at the grass root level and the real benefit to be given directly to the common man.”

“At present, India has about 1.4 crore fishermen, of which 20 lakh are very active. These 20 lakh fishermen need to be catered and the initiative is to issue them with bio-metric cards. We have taken the help of three private sectors to issue them with the cards and about 16 lakh fishermen are already covered and we have set an aim to cover the rest of 4 lakh fishermen by the next fishing ban season.” Angurana added.

Angurana further said, “The biometric cards play an important role as the information pertaining to fishing will be directly available to the fishermen. They will be able to identify Potential Fishing Zones (PFZ), weather assessment & forecast and real time management. We get all the data from satellites owned by Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and that information is openly available to the beneficiaries.”

Minister for Fisheries, Abhay Chandra Jain said, “I am happy that the organizers of this workshop have selected Dakshina Kannada district as the place to hold this workshop. The people of Dakshina Kannada have always shown tremendous support in the development of industries, education sector, banking and fisheries.”

Jain further said, “Government of Karnataka is providing a subsidy of Rs 110 crore on diesel for the fishermen and 2000 houses are constructed and handed over to the fishing community every year. I appeal to the central government to provide allocation in the budget for the modernization of fishing harbours in Karnataka.” He stressed on emphasis of modernization and development of landing centres, ice lands and distress signals for the fishermen. “I hope this workshop will give a fruitful result for the fishermen community,” he added.

The Indian Space Technology has shown phenomenal growth in the recent years. Application of Space Technology and its tools in the field of agriculture and allied sectors like fisheries is a very promising area. The main objective of the workshop was to explore the possibility of adoption of Space Technology in fisheries and to promote the use of space applications by various stake holders. It is proposed to develop an action plan to adopt the space technology in the fisheries sector for the benefit of fishermen.

Space technology is useful in fisheries sector, especially for identification of potential fishing zones in the sea, accurate weather forecast for fishermen and for measurement of area of aquatic resources for fish culture. With the adoption of these technologies, the operational cost of the fishing boats is expected to reduce, resulting in higher profit for fishermen. Accurate weather forecast will help in the safety of fishermen at Sea.

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