A mobile advisory service providing information pertaining to the sea has become a hit, with the app making fishing activities less expensive and environment-friendly besides helping fishermen get improved catch. The technology of the mobile advisory service, mKRISHI@ Fisheries, was developed by the Mumbai Research Centre of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and materialised by Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and the Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) under the National Agriculture Innovation Project (NAIP).
A study conducted by the CMFRI in 13 fishermen societies in Maharashtra has found that the fishermen could save up to 30 per cent of fuel consumption with the help of the mKrishi@Fisheries mobile app, a CMFRI release said here. The reduction of the fuel consumption has benefits in terms of environmental impact where an estimated 1.2 per cent of global oil production is consumed in fisheries. The study also revealed that the app had a positive impact on the livelihood of the fishermen with improved catch and reduced cost along with providing them safety and security in the sea.
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‘mKRISHI@Fisheries app’ provides information on Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) generated by INCOIS, sea surface temperature, weather and the presence of phytoplankton which form the food of several fish species based on the remote sensing data received from NOAA and Indian satellites.
The app consolidates these information and presents advisories in local languages, with easy to use icons on Java and Android mobile phones. In addition, the app, which is a result of multi-dimensional research and field work of experts from the CMFRI, INCOIS and TCS, was adjudged among the 20 best Social Innovations in the country by the Ministry of External Affairs and NITI Ayog.
The technology won a place in the prestigious National Contest on Social Innovation 2016, hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs along with NITI Ayog. The application was listed among the 20 top social innovations selected from a total of 774 applications, the release said. The CMFRI has already piloted this service in 56 fishermen societies in Maharashtra.
According to V V Singh, Scientist-in-Charge of CMFRI’s Mumbai Research Centre, the app is widely being used among the fishermen to plan their fishing activities. The information on the presence of potential fishing zone has helped fishers reduce unnecessary trips and the associated cost of diesel, ice and labour, he said adding that the app is beneficial to the fishermen to get to know the wind speed and direction, wave heights in a colour coded band helping them identify the unsafe regions in sea.
“Fishermen are advised to go only when the information map on the app is blue in colour.
The app will predict five days upfront forecast which will help even trawlers who go for multi-day fishing trips,” ingh said. He said lack of data signal availability in deep sea was a major challenge for the fishermen. “However, TCS and Tata Teleservices conducted a pilot to extend the mobile signal upto 30 km in the deep sea in Raigad district of Maharashtra.
This helped the fishermen for price negotiation while they were in the sea itself and the fresh catch could be directed to desired port, optimising the overall transportation,” he added. The CMFRI in collaboration with TCS is planning to reach out to more fishermen societies under Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav (MGMG) initiative, the release said. The technology upscaling is planned by undertaking integrated efforts, it added.