A major step towards heightening vigil at sea

Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM: With terrorists choosing the sea route to massacre people in Mumbai, the authorities here on Saturday reviewed the security arrangements and decided to enforce compulsory registration and display of numbers by all the vessels going for fishing with immediate effect.

Registration of all vessels as per the AP Marine Fisheries Regulation Act and the Mercantile Marine Department is mandatory.

This will be enforced strictly. On the advice of the Navy, the Fisheries Department officials also agreed to consider painting of fishing vessels with eight-inch orange stripes all around with the affixing of registration number in red colour.

Such a system was already in place in Tamil Nadu. The proposal would be sent to the top brass of the Fisheries Department for giving the stamp of approval.

Among others, N.V.S. Phani Kumar, Naval Officer In-Charge, Baljit Singh, Operating Officer, Indian Coast Guards, Sankar Rao, Quality Inspection Officer, Fisheries Department, P.Ch. Appa Rao, president, AP Mechanised Boat Operators’ Welfare Association, and Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy, general secretary, Dolphin Boat Operators’ Welfare Association attended.

As a pre-cautionary measure and to prevent the possibility of terrorists masquerading as Indian fishermen to indulge in terror strikes, photo identity cards would be issued to all the fishermen and crew in consultation with the boat owners.