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New Mobile Phone App Informs Fishermen About Borders

Jackie Linden
02 January 2014, at 12:00am

SRI LANKA - New apps have been developed to alert fishermen when they approach a maritime border.

Concerned over the rising cases of fishermen being apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy for crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) Centre has developed a mobile application that would alert the fishermen about a few kilometres from the actual point.

This application has been developed to safeguard the fishermen from Nagapattinam to Tuticorin when they proceed in boats for fishing as IMBL is located closer to their coastline than other districts of Tamil Nadu. There about 700,000 fishermen in the State, of which nearly 300,000 are in these districts, said S. Velvizhi, MSSRF principal scientist.

The application developed for Android-based mobile phones, forms part of Fisher Friend Mobile Application (FFMA) phase-II programme. Five mobile phones incorporating features such as providing cyclone and disaster alerts, real-time data on fish colony and danger zones and helpline numbers, were distributed to five fishermen from Kasimedu.

Talking to The Hindu, Ms Velvizhi said: “We upgraded FFMA-II based on feedback provided by the fishing community. It was launched 20 days ago and is currently being used by 110 people. The real-time data is provided in Tamil, English and Telugu. In the next few days, the apps would be offered to fishermen of Kerala, followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Odisha.

FFMA-II is jointly developed by MSSRF that provided design and data, Qualcomm (financial support and technical advice) and Tata Consultancy Services (application developer). FFMA-III will be uploaded on Google so as to extend its reach.