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IEEE Experts help for deep-sea fishing ; Fishers join hands with students from engineering colleges

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The Hindu | | T. Nandakumar |

Obbled by dwindling catch, obsolete equipment, and poor safety measures, the embattled deep-sea fishing community in South India is seeking assistance of technology experts and engineering students to modernise operations and make fishing more sustainable. The Association of Deep Sea Going Artisanal Fishermen (ADSGAF) based at Thoothoor in Tamil Nadu has joined hands with the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to develop and promote technology-assisted fishing with the involvement of teachers and students from engineering colleges. The Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technologies (SIGHT), a body promoted by the IEEE, Chennai, has initiated efforts to link the fishers with experts and students. An orientation programme organised by SIGHT at Nagercoil last week provided a venue for the stakeholders to interact with each other.

The deep-sea fishing fleet in Tamil Nadu operates in a vast region in the western Indian Ocean extending up to the Pakistan border in the north. Given their long voyages lasting up to 45 days or more in relatively small craft, the fleet faces unique problems in safety, communication, navigation, fuel consumption, preservation of catch, and fisheries management. “SIGHT is in the process of addressing some of these problems through a joint effort involving different stakeholders,” says Satish Babu, former Director, International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS), Thiruvananthapuram, who facilitated the interaction. The meeting discussed several projects including solar lighting and on-board refrigeration system for boats, man overboard alert system, enhancing GPS functionality for navigation and fuel saving, designing a bio-toilet and kitchen for boats, extreme weather alert for high seas operation, fish marketing intelligence system, online logbook and digital image processing for identification of banned fish species. “Some of the projects were adopted for implementation by the students and teachers,” Mr. Babu said. Chief Executive, ADSGAF, J. Vincent Jain, who chairs SIGHT for artisanal deep-sea fishers, said another orientation programme would be held in Kochi shortly to extend the network of students to Kerala.- Courtesy


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