The FSI threw open two research vessels to schoolchildren and others, with officials explaining to them about their work.

Scores of schoolchildren had a thrilling time when they were explained about the operation of Marine Fisheries Vessels ‘Matsya Shikari’ and ‘Matsya Darshini’ at the Fishing Harbour of Visakhapatnam on Thursday.

“It was an awesome experience. Never in my life did I have the opportunity to visit an ocean-going research vessel,” Prateek, an eighth standard student of Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan, said.

As part of an open house, the Fishery Survey of India (FSI) threw open the two research vessels to schoolchildren and others. Officials from FSI also explained to them on how they gather data on fish resources to enable fishermen for scientific exploration of fishes.

Both Matsya Shikari and Matsya Darshini are stern trawlers acquired from Holland and Denmark respectively in 1979 and 1980.

About thousand people visited the two vessels during the open session. For Asish Gupta, another school student, it was a lifetime experience. “I could learn how fish resources are surveyed. The compasses they use are very sophisticated,” he said.

FSI has a fleet of 13 survey vessels – the third largest fleet after the Navy and the Coast Guards, which chart out fishing grounds, assess fish stocks in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone including high seas and research based specific requests for survey by the States and the Union Territories.

All the ocean-going vessels have state-of-the-art equipment to take up surveys like stern trawling, purse-seining, mid-water trawling, tuna long-lining and squid jigging. The vessels are also fitted with on-board laboratory for biological and hydrographic studies.

“We do undertake different types of surveys through variety of craft and gear to know which type of fish is available at what quantity and at what depth to pass on the information to fishermen. This also helps in supplementing the efforts for food security as fish is affordable and highly nutritious,” FSI Scientist Ansuman Das said.

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