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Tamil Nadu: Fishermen for a better safety net February 14,2020   |  Source: The Times of India

For a long time, the fishing community in Tamil Nadu has nursed the grouse that apart from news of a mid-sea attack or a cyclone governments have hardly spared a thought about it. But this year’s budget could be a turning point, with bureaucrats hinting at a thrust on tech support, financial assistance and infra development for marine as well as inland fishery. Fisherfolk hope the upcoming Budget will have some surprises. The government is expected to give a major push by equipping 5,000-odd mechanised boats with transponders in the coming year. Developed by Isro as a means of tracking and communication system for deep sea fishermen, the transponders were fitted in 500 vessels on a pilot basis. "The Centre has sanctioned the proposal to expand it to all mechanised boats in TN," said G S Sameeran, director of fisheries.

Recalling the devastation by Cyclone Ockhi, Justin Antony, president of International Fishermen Development Trust, said there was a need to upgrade warning systems and improve rescue apparatus. "National Disaster Management Centre and Branch of National Meteorological Centre should be set up at Kanyakumari. Helicopters and speed boats for rescue operations should be provided in coastal districts," he said.

The needs of the fishermen, however, are not

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)