Fisher Friend Mobile Application developed by MSSRF, Qualcomm, TCS

Consider an app for fisherfolks that would signal a boundary alert as the boats head towards the International Maritime Boundary Line, provide ocean stat information on real time, and regions of fish congregation.

The M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation has introduced its FFMA-II (Fisher Friend Mobile Application), a new application, which among other critical services, has incorporated an international boundary alert that would sound an alarm once the boats head towards the boundary line.

The FFMA-II has been jointly developed by the MSSRF, Qualcomm, and TCS. Working on its earlier FFMA-I version that ran on CDMA platform, FFMA-II has been incorporated with additional features in Android platform in Tamil, Telugu, and English. The features include GPS interface, species-specific forecast, marking of danger ones such as rocks, sunken ships, and dead coral reefs, and emergency help lines. The species-specific inputs entail real-time data on fish colony, species-specific forecast with GPS coordinates, and species-specific market prices for each lading centre. The new application enables fisherfolk to access ocean stat information in real time.

The most critical feature is the boundary alert . MSSRF has taken coordinates from the Indian Coast Guard Station to enable this alert once the boats approach the International Maritime Boundary Line. The coordinates are saved for the boats to map their routes.

Earlier, launching the Fisher Friend Mobile Application here on Tuesday, and distributing Android phones and GPS to beneficiaries on behalf of MSSRF, M.S.Swaminathan, Founder-Chairman, said the purpose was to enrich livelihoods through science. Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines, Dr.Swamination called it a ‘transformation technology’ that would take the ‘best in science to the fisherfolk.’

“We have received feedback from fishermen, where they had earlier spent 12 hours looking for catch, but were now spending two hours with this real-time information device.”

Building on its fisherfolk help lines already functional under the Village Resource Centres of MSSRF, this application provides critical information through cutting-edge mobile technology. The application has been designed with the participation of the fisherfolk and field tested on pilot basis. The updates and scientific information has been received through collaboration with INCOIS, Hyderabad, Indian Coast guard, departments of fisheries, government of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

According to Collector T.Munusamy, the application should be used by the fisherfolk to wean them away from crossing over.

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