India’s fishing boats equipped with two-way transponders

 India’s fishing boats are being equipped with two-way communication transponders free of charge with the aim of improving overall maritime security.

The transponders made by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will help track the fishing boats’ position and promote the fishermen’s business interests, government officials are quoted as saying.

The report by the India Today weekly magazine said, “350,000 two-way communication transponders will be given to the fishermen along the coastal states. In the first phase, 100,000 transponders would be fitted on boats which are sub-20-meter size.”

“This project will be carried out under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (Prime Minister Fisheries Wealth Scheme),” it added.

The transponders’ installment has already begun in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, according to the report.

The report said service of the ISRO-made transponders will be supported by new satellites to be launched by the space agency. Government organizations, including the fisheries departments of Indian states, along with India’s National Security Council (NSC), are jointly working to implement the project in coastal areas.

The transponders will allow monitoring agencies to locate the fishing boats on the sea, and enable the contact between fishing boats as well as their communication with India’s security agencies to facilitate assistance when necessary. In addition, with the transponders, the fishermen can receive warnings about cyclones or other weather conditions. ■

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