A series of communication technology initiatives that have helped over one lakh fisherfolk across Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Odisha access information for better livelihood, safety, access to markets and schemes is now set to roll out in Kerala.
Called the “Fisher Friend” Programme and implemented through M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in partnership with Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), this initiative has reached over 13,000 fishing community members along the eastern coast of India.
This programme is being formally launched on August 16, 2014 by Commandant Pradeep Kushwaha at Thiruvananthapuram Commanding Officer, Indian Coast Guard, Vizhinjam and through videoconferencing from Hyderabad, by Dr. Sathish Shenoi, Director, INCOIS, Hyderabad.
Ms Nancy Anabel, Director IEC, MSSRF shares experiences of working with the fishing communities across the eastern coast. Dr. Sheela Nair, Scientist, Centre for Earth Science Studies, Trivandrum, makes special remarks. Representatives from the fishing community in Tamil Nadu share experiences of using information communication technology in their work and their lives. T. Peter, Secretary, National Fish worker Forum, Trivandrum and the representative of the Vizhinjam fishing community share their expectations. Mrs. R. Sandhya, Joint Director of Fisheries, Department of Fisheries, Trivandrum and Dr. A.P. Lipton, Principal Scientist, CMFRI, Vizhinjam are also speaking at the inaugural.
In the first phase Tiruvananthapuram, Allappey and Kollam districts will be covered in a phased manner. This programme is to be implemented in partnership Kerala Fisheries department, Indian Coast Guard, CMFRI and related other institutions.
Initially, the programme will target six villages (Vizhinjam, Poovar, Karukulam, Vezi, Poonthura, Marianadu, Anjanco) in Tiruvananthapuram. Already around 700 fishermen from these villages have registered their mobile numbers to receive location-specific INCOIS audio advisories for risk reduction and livelihood enhancement.
A 24/7 helpline service (859384066/ 7558829331) is available for real time information and clarification.
(For more information and media queries, please contact Dr Velvizhi – 9443261799)