The Hindu , 17 March 2006

Good news for fishermen

There is good news for fishermen at a time when they are complaining of bad catches. During an interaction with experts, organised by the South Indian Federation of Fishermen's Societies (SIFFS) in the capital city on Tuesday, they were told that the seas off Kerala are on the road to recovery following the December 26, 2004, tsunami strike.

"The catches are likely to be back to normal, thanks to nature's capacity for recovery," said C.S.P. Iyer, senior scientist with the Regional Research Laboratory (RRL). He further said the imagery from the satellite IRS-P4 could be made available to fishermen so that they could home in on shoals and mud-bank formations (`chakara').

The satellite was launched in 1999 specifically for monitoring the sea, he said.

It was providing imagery of the chlorophyll content of the sea— an indication of the presence of fish— every 48 hours.

The map was being given to the State Government and there was no reason why it could not be shared with fishermen.

Now that fishermen had global positioning systems (GPS) on their craft, they would be able to home in on fish, Dr. Iyer noted.

The SIFFS, however, feels that traditional fishermen can benefit from such information only if the Government takes the initiative to reach it to them through the television or radio.