33 master fishers (8 female and 25 male) from 15 fishing villages in Andhra Pradesh were selected by the District Administration of Srikakulam District to visit the MSSRF Fish for All Centre at Poompuhar, Tamil Nadu. For three days, between August 18 and 21, the master fishers received practical exposure on using the Fisher Friend mobile application and on post-harvest fishery technologies implemented at Fish for All Centre over the last ten years.
The three-day exposure visit was structured to ensure that the participants gain better awareness about the fishing-related technologies, also gain knowledge and skills. They were exposed to the following aspects:
• Various fishery-based livelihood interventions implemented by the MSSRF Centre in the coastal villages of Tamil Nadu, particularly for small scale fishers.
• Hands-on training on fisher friend mobile application, global positioning system, and sea safety measures.
• Hands-on training on producing high quality dry fish using solar dryers and in developing value added products from small pelagic fishes
• Importance of artificial reefs and sustainable fishing practices
• Fish and crab culture techniques, among others
The fishers also interacted with fishermen and women involved in fish processing and other livelihood interventions. They had an opportunity to interact with staff and students of the Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology at Annamalai University, Parangipettai.
The training methodology used by MSSRF staff was interactive and participatory, with hands-on trainings and experience sharing. During the exposure visit, participants also interacted with fishermen master trainers, livelihood groups and women federation members, which helped them have a better understanding about livelihood-related linkages and benefits from managing such linkages.