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Tuna locating vessel to survey coastal waters

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FISHERIES VESSEL: Matsya Drushti, a vessel belonging to the Fisheries Survey of India, berthed at the Royapuram fishing harbour. PHOTO: V. GANESAN
FISHERIES VESSEL: Matsya Drushti, a vessel belonging to the Fisheries Survey of India, berthed at the Royapuram fishing harbour. PHOTO: V. GANESAN

Staff Reporter

Matsya Drushti is equipped with state-of-the-art gadgetry

CHENNAI: A Fisheries Survey of India (FSI) vessel to identify the concentration of Yellow fin Tuna, an export variety of fish, in the Bay of Bengal, is now berthed at Fishing Harbour, Kasimedu, near Royapuram.

Acquired recently by the FSI, the vessel `Matsya Drushti' is known as `Tuna Monofilament Longliner,' which is used for surveying the marine fishery resources available in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (IEEZ), according to FSI's zonal director P. Sivaraj.

Tuna fish are known to be high-speed swimmers and so very difficult to locate. The vessel equipped with state of the art gadgets including INMARSAT communication capability, radar and deep-sea equipment can identify the movement of the tuna shoals, Mr Sivaraj said.

Apart from identifying the fishery resources, the vessel also has facilities to take up research work. The collected data would be disseminated to the local fishing community. Tunas are known as `sea chickens' and in great demand in Japan and Korea. A kilo of tuna could fetch about $16.

As part of the programme, the Matsya Drushti would also take up survey of tuna and tuna like resources available in the oceanic waters of Bay of Bengal, Mr Sivaraj said.

The survey would be helpful for both traditional fishermen and those having trawlers, he said and added that the traditional fishermen needed to take a mother boat along with them to bring the catch to the shore.

The vessel built in China in 2004, was commissioned last year, Mr Sivaraj said. It would be stationed here and carry out a fisheries survey from Point Calimere in Nagapattinam to Kolkata on the east coast. The entire 1500-km coastline would be divided into three sectors and the vessel would spend 20 days on survey in each sector. In all the survey was expected to take three months to cover the entire coastline including the period of maintenance, Mr Sivaraj said.

Members of the public can visit the vessel berthed at the Royapuram fishing harbour between 10 a.m and 5 p.m on Wednesday.

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