State government all set to colour code fishing boats

Various associations apprehensive over move due to practical reasons

The State government has directed fishing boats in Karnataka to be painted with colours white, black and blue.

However, the fishermen are apprehensive about this move for various reasons including economical reasons.

The colour coding of boats was made mandatory by the government keeping the nation’s security in mind. By assigning a unique colour code to each state, coastal security forces can easily identify fishing vessels and hence capture pirates, smugglers and terrorists who try to enter the country via sea route.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation Limited Chairman and DK Trawler Boats Association President Nitin Kumar said that the move is welcome keeping the nation’s security in mind. However, there is a need to give the fishermen sufficient time before imposing the rule.

“To paint all the boats would approximately take a year’s time. Secondly, painting is a costly affair. The steel boats need anti-rust paint. One should understand the financial limitations of the fishermen,” he said.

He further added that fishermen usually paint their boats once in a year and some have already painted their boats. Painting again would not be feasible, he says and adds that the association plans to submit a memorandum to the government requesting extension in time-frame regarding implementation of this move.

Karnataka Purse Seine Fishermen Association Mangalore South Dock President Naveen Karkera said that he is unaware about this move and has not received any official intimation on the colour coding scheme. In case the government asks the fishermen to paint their boats, then a minimum time of six months should be allotted, he said.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Fisheries Department Deputy Director Suresh Kumar said that around 1,500 boats are in DK district and another 1,500 in Udupi district may have to be painted with the colour scheme. However, talks have to be held with the fishermen before finalising things, he said.

Biometric cards

As many as 14,000 applications have been received from fishermen from DK district for biometric cards and 10,019 cards are ready, said Department of Fisheries Assistant Director Sushmitha Rao.

The biometric cards can be used as identity cards by fishermen. These cards will have the fisherman’s name, photograph and a chip which has all his details, she said. The cards will be distributed soon after the formal launch, she added.

Life saving equipment

There is an aim to make life saving equipment compulsory in every boat. With this view, the department is providing two life jackets and two life buoys to 400 boats in the district this year. These life saving equipment cost Rs 2,790.

However, the government is providing a subsidy of 75 per cent and the fishermen have to pay only 25 per cent, she said.

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