Thiruvananthapuram: The fishermen have not bothered to use the search and rescue beacon provided by the Indian Space Research Organisation because they rely more on natural warnings than on technology. The fisheries department of the previous LDF government in 2008 had come out with a novel scheme to provide the fishermen search and rescue beacon. Fisheries minister J. Mercy Kutty Amma told DC that the fishermen never carried these gadgets in their boats and they were being used as toys by their children.
False alarms were raised by the children putting the Navy and Coast Guard in trouble. When a fishing boat is in distress, the signal will reach the harbour so that the harbour officials and Cost Guard can bring them back to safety. “The fisheries department had been taking a series of initiatives to help the fishermen at sea. On Wednesday we held a meeting of top officials of ISRO, National Informatics Centre and Central Marine Fisheries Institute to discuss the issues,” she said.
Navigation and surveillance gadgets were planned to be set up in the boats by this December. The ISRO has agreed to provide space exclusively for a satellite transponder for the fisheries department. The latest gadget would have a range of 1,500 km. A top VSSC official on condition of anonymity told DC that its technology, if properly used, will benefit lakhs of fishermen in the country.