State government has decided to undertake widespread awareness campaign among the fishing community to check the misuse of Distress Alert Transmitters (DAT) installed in fishing trawlers in the sea.
The decision was taken by the state government after a recent meeting between the senior officials of the state fisheries department, Indian Coast Guard and BSF.
The senior officials of the Coast Guard had brought to the notice of the state government that fishermen were pressing DAT to draw the attention of the Coast Guard but in most of the cases when the helicopters and ships reach the places of incidents, they find that there was no case of emergency.
As a result of this the central agencies had to incur a huge loss due to the consumption of fuel.
Keeping in view the inconveniences faced by the Coast Guard, the state fisheries department has taken a decision to carry out awareness drive among the fishermen so to check the misuse of DAT.
According to a senior official of the state fisheries department, a comprehensive plan is being chalked out to check such incidents.
A fine may be imposed on the owners of the fishing trawlers in case of a misuse of DAT.
The state government may also cancel the license of the fishing trawlers if there are repeated incidents of misuse of DAT by a particular trawler in addition to the fines to prevent the misuse of the distress alarm by the fishermen.
It has been observed many a time the fishermen press the distress alarm without a valid reason.
DATs were installed on trawlers so that fishermen can alert the authorities of any danger at sea. Till now, more than 2,000 DATs have been installed and many others would be installed in the remaining trawlers soon.
The state fisheries department had taken the initiative to install emergency alert system to save the fishing trawlers from danger.
It may be mentioned that the fisheries department had also distributed bio-metric ID cards in Sunderbans.
The present government also announced that in case a fisherman dies due to an attack by pirates in the sea, the deceased’s family members would be given Rs 2 lakh.
The fisheries department is also giving financial assistance to the fishing community during off season.
A pension scheme has also been introduced by the state government to improve the quality of life of people involved in fishing. E-registrations were being done for the nets used by the fishermen.
Chandranath Sinha, minister of the state fisheries department said: “We are going to take awareness
drive among the fishing folk to check the misuse of distress alarm. Our department is also chalking out a plan on how to deal such incidents. We are yet to decide whether a fine can be imposed on the owners of the trawlers found to be misusing the distress alarm, despite of the campaign.