Kerala to rope in fisherfolk as informers

December 19th, 2008 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 19 (IANS) The Kerala government has decided to rope in fisherfolk to keep an eye on suspicious vessels in the sea, a minister said Friday. “We have a 610 kilometre long coast line. With terrorists taking the sea route, we are meeting representatives of all fisheries related organisation on the 29th of this month to discuss how effectively we could use them as informers to the police on what happens in the deep sea waters,” State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters here Friday.

Kerala has 222 marine fishing villages. The total fisherfolks’ households are 120,486, that include 602,234 individuals of which 35.50 per cent are adult males.

“Currently there are 66 coastal police stations and they are ill-equipped with no boats and poor communication equipment.

“Of these, the centre has agreed to provide infrastructure for eight police stations, but they are yet to do it. Now they have informed us that we can hire boats and we are going to open the first full fledged costal police station at Neendakara in Kollam district,” said Balakrishnan.

He added the meeting Dec 29 would finalise the modalities of how to use these fisher folks to the best use.

“We propose to see that special identification marks are put up on all Kerala boats that go into the deep sea for fishing. This would help to identify vessels and boats that do not have the Kerala specific marks,” he added.

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