GPS technology may become compulsory for fishing trawlers

December 15th, 2009 - 4:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Dec 15 (IANS) The Goa government is considering making global positioning system (GPS) a compulsory fitting on board the 1,200-odd trawlers in the state in the wake of 67 fishermen losing their lives to Cyclone Phyan in November.
The state fisheries department had sent a proposal to the central government for the same, Fisheries Minister Joaquim Alemao said during the winter session of the Goa legislative assembly Tuesday.

“We are thinking of making it compulsory. The central government has a scheme which covers Rs.1.5 lakh per boat for setting up of the GPS on board a trawler,” Alemao said, adding that the state could bear the remaining cost of Rs.50,000 required to set up the facility on board the vessel.

Once fitted on board a vessel, GPS technology helps identify the exact location of a boat and is of tremendous assistance in tracking down boats or ships in distress.

Earlier, Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar said that families of several deceased fishermen had still not received compensation from the state government and from insurance agencies.

“The state government should indemnify the deaths of these poor trawler hands. Or their families will not even avail of the insurance cover,” the former chief minister said.

Parrikar further said that because 65 of the 67 fishermen who died in the cyclone were non-Goan, the deaths had gone relatively unnoticed.

“There is no one here to shout for them. The death of 67 fishermen is one of Goa’s biggest human tragedies,” he said.

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