Soon, NaVIC handsets to bring fishermen under safety net

Gearing up: Fishermen with an emergency communication system fixed in their boat at Beypore.  

In an effort to improve the safety of fishermen and strengthen the capacity to reach out to them quickly in case of unexpected calamities, the Fisheries Department is planning to distribute around 500 NaVIC handsets, the regional satellite navigation system developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), among them. Though the equipment actually costs about ₹8,000, the fisherman will have to spend only ₹1,500 get it.

Officials said the NaVIC handsets would help fishers get updates on extreme weather events with the support of regional control rooms and help rescue operators trace their location in case of rescue needs. It would also be helpful for fishers to get update on shoals, they added.

The new device with bigger coverage area will help fishers overcome poor signal threat while using mobile phones. On such occasions, the mobile phones could be connected to the device using the bluetooth function. The device was developed following a request from the State government after studying the impact of Ockhi-related calamities.

A decision has also been taken to supply around 500 more life jackets to fishers in Kozhikode district. Those who have already submitted their applications will get the jackets free of cost as part of the State-wide scheme. The distribution is likely to be completed within a couple of weeks.

Biometric details

As part of improving the security of fishers, the Fisheries Department has been initiating a number of measures, including the collection of biometric details for issuing identity cards and freely supplying basic safety accessories. Efforts are also going on in the district to feed the details of about 20,000 active fishermen into a recently designed android application, Sagara, to link them to a better safety alert system.

The new application will feature the details of all the 5,306 registered fishing boats, including mechanised, non-mechanised and country boats in Kozhikode district. With the launch of the updated Sagara, the fishing boat owners will be able to get real-time status of their vessels and crew at work. For the Fisheries Department, the data available on a common platform, including telephone numbers and registration details of boats, will help easy coordination of rescue activities in times of emergency situations.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 10:30:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/soon-navic-handsets-to-bring-fishermen-under-safety-net/article26106933.ece

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