Rameswaram fishermen set out for deep sea fishing from Cochin on Tuesday one and a half months after Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami launched deep sea fishing project.
After completing test and trail run and setting right difficulties at the Cochin Shipyard, which rolled out four vessels for fishermen, three vessels left for fishing in the west coast of Arabian Sea.
The project, conceived to wean away fishermen who get arrested by Sri Lankan navy when they trespass into Lankan waters while fishing in the Palk Bay, took off one and a half years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had initiated it in July, 2017.
â€śThirty three fishermen set out for deep sea fishing from Thoppumpady harbour near Chochin Fishing harbour, with hope,â€ť Additional Director of fisheries (Ramanathapuram) Johny Tom Varghese said.
The fishermen have taken permission from the Kerala government to operate from there for a couple of months so that they could rectify any issue with the CSL. Though the vessels had facilities for long liners, the fishermen would use gill netting to catch tuna and dill fish â€“ the export potential species. He and Director of fisheries G S Sameeran had visited the harbour last week and prepared the ground work.
Eleven fishermen in the vessel owned by Anand Biava, 12 in the vessel owned by Sesu Iruthayaraj and 10 in the vessel owned by Vinnarasan had set out for 10 to 15 days voyage. All the fishermen were trained by the Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training and they are expected to sail more than 100 nautical miles.
Forming a cluster, they carried one satellite phone for offshore communication. Besides, each boat carried Navtex (navigational telex), Navic sets to get distress, adverse weather condition alerts and VHF sets for communicating among them. Their vessels were fitted with automatic identification system to keep track of vessel traffic.
â€śWe are confident of making the fishing successful,â€ť said Mr. Baiva. Mr Sameeran and his team of officials were great source of inspiration, he said. T. Yuvaraj and R. Gautham, Assistant Director of fisheries and Inspector of Fisheries (Rameswaram) saw off the boats with the owners.