Puri: Shyam Mohapatra, a traditional fisherman from Chandrabhaga Nolia Sahi under Konark NAC in Puri district is a happy man.
He saw a jump in his catch as well as a rise in income, thanks to a mobile-based information service on fishing.
“We were worried about venturing into the sea because of unreliable sea conditions. Sometimes, there would be a sudden weather change and boats would get damaged. However, since October 2017, I have been depending on the voice advisories and messages that I get on my smart phone from Reliance Foundation on Ocean State Forecast and Potential,” said Mohapatra.
“Most of the fishermen here are getting regular Ocean State Forecast and early warnings from the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad, through Reliance Foundation Voice message platform,” he added.
He also said, “We are also getting Fishing Zones’ information from Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS). On May 2019, we had also received a high wave alert about cyclone Fani. We had avoided venturing into the sea at that time.”
“I am really thankful to INCOIS and Reliance Foundation for their continuous effort towards providing sea safety advisory at the right time through the technology platform,” said Mohapatra.
Ocean State Forecast provides relevant information related to sea conditions, wave height, wind speed and direction and current speed from 20 to 50 km.
“Through Ocean State Forecast, we get to know whether it is safe to venture into the sea or not. It warns us to return from the sea in time and keep our boats in safe places,” he added.
He said that they completely trust the information provided by Ocean State Forecast. “The advisory helps us to assess the climate for the coming days before venturing into the sea. It not only helps us take the right decision but also saves our input cost (ice, ration, diesel, labour cost) and lives of marine fishermen every season,” said Mohapatra.
The Reliance Foundation organised need-based knowledge on ocean/training on safety measures, how to use GPS, including ‘search and rescue beacon’ DAT-distress alert transmitter for marine fishermen with expertise support of Indian Coast Guard, Gopalpur and Department of Fisheries, Puri.
In November this year, Reliance Foundation with technical support from Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad developed a user friendly application for marine fisher folk called “Machli” to provide ocean state forecast, advance Tsunami warnings and potential fishing zone information. Through this app, fishermen could get the satellite based OSF and PFZ forecasting in Odia language.
This “Machli” app is available on Google Play store and is very useful for marine fishermen to navigate into the sea and to get better fish catch and sea safety measures. Reliance Foundation captures all the fisheries information from authenticated sources and makes it available for the betterment of the fishermen community.