The district administration has decided to issue bio-metric ID cards to all fishermen as part of beefing up surveillance in coastal areas and to ensure effective functioning of the Coastal Vigilance Committee to strengthen costal security in the 80-km long stretch from Thrikaripur and Manjeshwar in the district.

A decision to this effect was taken by the District level Vigilance Committee involving senior personnel of various security agencies.

It has been decided to distribute bio-metric identity cards to over 10,000 fishermen by April as 9,238 of the total 10,381 fishermen in the district had applied for the cards, official sources here said.

The Identity cards are being prepared under the supervision of the ‘Kerala Matsya Thozhilali Welfare Board’ and the process is in the final stage, they said.

Added thrust would be given to ensure that the functioning of the Coastal Vigilance Committee, falling under six coast police stations, are made effective.

Re-charge mobile phone coupons had been provided to 25 fishermen residing under the limits of the each coastal police station to provide prompt information to the police on spotting ships and boats in deep seas under suspicious circumstances.

The decision appears to have yielded results with inputs about on ships and boats found under mysterious circumstances are being promptly passed out to the police station concerned. The inputs received from the Coastal Vigilance Committees would also be assessed and deliberated by the District level vigilance Committee.

The meeting was attended by officials from the Navy, Coast Guard, Customs Department, Coastal Police and those Marine Enforcement and Fisheries department.

During the meeting held here, the Coast Guard had mooted the idea of implementing unified colour code to all fishing boats across the State so as to help easy identification of such vessels.

The meeting was presided over by District Collector V. N. Jithendran while Lt. Col Ashok Kumar, Assistant Naval Marshal of the Ezhimala Naval Academy, among others, also attended.