Small mechanised boat fishermen of a couple of coastal villages in the district will enjoy a few extended benefits of safe fishing — by getting forecast information about the rough sea, bad weather; they can access information about their exact location in the waters thereby avoiding any trespassing in to the international marine boundary line. Further, they will get to know the information about marketing techniques.

All these information will be available on their mobile phone thanks to the “Fisher Friend Mobile Application” (FFMA) programme introduced by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Village Resource Centre, Pudukottai, in joint co-ordination with Qualcomm and Tata Consultancy Services.

The mobile phone will minimise their risk and maximise their economic benefits. It provides information about disaster alerts such as cyclone. It would help them locate their position using the GPS. R. Rajkumar, Senior Scientist of the MSSRF, said that fishermen of R. Pudupattinam and South Pudukudi had been selected for the project in the district. It would be extended to other parts of the district next year.

It had been planned to provide voice SMS service to 500 fishermen in the district. Those interested can contact (ph: 98652 31033), he said.