Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service provided the boards

M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation has been imparting training on a representative section of fishermen in the coastal villages in Cuddalore district on the importance and usage of the electronic display boards (EDB) set up for disseminating information on weather condition, fish potential and so on. Project Officer of the Village Resource Centre division of the Foundation R. Elangovan told The Hindu that the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service (INCOIS) had provided 12 EDBs to the Foundation. Of these three had been installed at Samiyarpettai, Parangipettai and Mudasal Odai.

The EDBs, incorporated with the state-of-the-art communication system, would facilitate dissemination of satellite pictures, animations, short films, ocean state information, disaster information and warning and alert system in addition to the normal multi-lingual text information.

Mr. Elangovan said that the Foundation had already set up the Village Knowledge Centres and Village Resource Centres to ascertain the daily requirements of the coastal community and to establish proper linkage with other organisations to improve their livelihood aspects.

Recently a training programme was organised in the Parangipettai Village Knowledge Centre for a batch of fishermen drawn from Periakuppam, Samiyarpettai, Pudhukuppam, Parangipettai, Mudasal Odai, Muzhukkuthurai, Pillumedu and Pazhaiyar coastal villages, who were taught as how to read and utilise the contents of the EDBs.

They in turn would carry the message to other fishermen in their respective places,

Potential fishing zones

Mr. Elangovan said. Project Coordinator Velvizhi who handled the classes explained to them in simple language as to how to utilise the information provided in the EDBs to their best advantage.

They could source information such as potential fishing zones (PFZ), how to go about the PFZ study, the state of wind and waves and early warning for the tsunami. She said that the INCOIS used satellite to derive the PFZ.

The INCOIS information on PFZ had 80 per cent success rate in case of surface fishes (pelagic species) and 60 per cent in the case of underwater (demersal) species such as prawns and crabs, she added.