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Updated: September 8, 2011 11:50 IST

Weather forecast system is not of much use to fishermen

Renuka Phadnis
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The electronic marine fisheries forecast system at Bunder in Mangalore. Photo: R.Eswarraj
The electronic marine fisheries forecast system at Bunder in Mangalore. Photo: R.Eswarraj

Fishermen in the Bunder area say that the electronic marine fisheries forecast system is not of much use to them.

Called Ocean Information System (it is from the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences), it gets information from the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad. The official concerned, however, says that they must spend more time to get information from the system.

On Wednesday, there were some pictures of the map of India with wind speed and direction on the system installed at the office of the Deputy Director of Fisheries in the Bunder area. But they were not current images, said sources in the office.

They said that there were no satellite images due to overcast conditions, and hence, the weather forecast was not available.

Some fishermen in the Bunder area said that they did not refer to the electronic weather forecasting system. They said they depended on other fishermen for information.

“For us, it (electronic) is 90 per cent useless. We depend on the wireless system for fish and weather forecasts,” said a fisherman.

The “10 per cent” use it had was the time they referred to it when they expected cyclones, he said.

Another fisherman said that he watched the early morning news on TV for weather updates. “I have never gone there (electronic system) to check for weather bulletins,” he added.

Suresh Kumar Ullal, Deputy Director of Fisheries, said that the INCOIS system gave information and fishermen had to spend some time in getting it.

“They don't come to office. They have to come and study it for half an hour. They should spend at least 15 to 20 minutes,” he added.

He said the system gave information on weather, wind speed, height of wave and density of fish. However, when it was cloudy, it could not provide information.

“Some educated people and those who know English come to check on the weather,” according to sources in the office of the Deputy Director of Fisheries.

A speedboat owner said: “I know English. I visited the place three times in the past one week, but there was no information.” He said he sought to know the weather because information given would help him negotiate the “Alive Bagilu” (the bar mouth) which was dangerous.

Mr. Ullal said: “Information is in English. That could be another reason (for lack of use).”

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