One more intervention has been put forward by the Central Institute of Fisheries technology for helping the fisherfolk engaged in inland fishing. Safe and durable fishing boats of Fibre Reinforced plastics (FRP) following scientific designs and making use of Nano-Resin technology have been constructed by the Institute for the benefit of fisherfolk of Chellanam Panchayath of Ernakulam district. The 20 FRP boats fabricated under the SCA-SCP - scheme support provided to SC/ST Service Co-operative Society, Chellanam were handed over to the Society Shri K. Babu, Hon’ble Minster for Fisheries, Port and Excise, Govt. of Kerala in an august function held at CIFT, Cochin on 4 July, 2014.
Unlike marine sector, the extent of appropriate technology applications in Inland fishery sector is very low and the fisherfolk engaged in small scale fishing in reservoirs, lakes and rivers are in a socio-economically underprivileged condition. Dr. T.K. Srinivasa Gopal, Director, CIFT during his speech elucidated that the Institute has developed many technologies for improving the efficiency of inland fishery sector, under the Value chain project for Small pelagics and freshwater fishes (NAIP-RHSSP). He also added that the Project had already introduced improved gillnets in all the seven reservoirs of Palakkad district and has developed many proven technologies for energy efficient fishing. A unit for production of innovative value added products from freshwater fishes and a model urban outlet for its marketing managed by tribal women of Chulliyar dam area were set up under the Project in collaboration with the SC/ST Fishermen Co-op Society of Chulliyar dam. These kinds of business models are replicable in any coastal villages empowering women in their own surroundings. He mentioned that the snack products developed from pelagic and freshwater fishes under “Fishmaid” brand is available in the market and is popular among the consumers of Kerala
The FRP boats are of 5.35 X 0.82 meter size and made after refinement of design based on feedback received from fisherfolk on the field trials. According to Shri M. Nasser, Naval Architect & C0-PI of the project, the boats costs Rs 30,000/- and will last for minimum 25-30 years, without any maintenance and repair as against the traditional wooden boats costing Rs 18,000/- to 20,000/- and last for only 3-4 years. It is resistant to borer attack or any other degradation which happens in wooden boats.
The technological contributions of CIFT by way of introducing business models on value added products like “Fishmaid”, high quality dry fish branded under “Drish” and fuel saving propellers were appreciated by the Minister, during his inaugural address. Shri Dominic Presentation, MLA, Ernakulam Assembly Constituency called for development of more such appropriate technologies to equip the fisherfolk in the poor socio-economic sector, during his presidential address. Project leader, Dr. K.V. Lalitha, HOD, MFB, CIFT welcomed the audience. Shri K.P. Thankachan, President, Chellanam Panchayath; Shri K.J. Leenus, Member, District Panchayath and Smt. Sudhambika, President, Palluruthy Block Panchayath offered felicitations and Shri K.P. Sadanandan, President, Chellanam Panchayath SC/ST Service Co-Op Society proposed the vote of thanks. The programme was co-ordinated by Dr. S. Ashaletha, Co-PI of the project.
Shri K. Babu, Hon’ble Minister delivering the Chief Guest’s address