ISRO scientists claim to have developed a device that would warn fishermen about imminent dangers on the sea and communicate back to their family on such issues. The device is also supposed to alert them to the position of the International Maritime Boundary Line, while they are at sea. ISRO’s GPS-device to be called NaVIC GPS system and once implemented, it would certainly boost the livelihood of impoverished fishermen.

The system was developed after the aftermath of cyclone Okhi which claimed the lives of 70 fishermen in Kerala because they couldn’t be updated about the predicted alarming situation. From the senior scientists of ISRO, it has been gathered that NaVIC GPS system will also enable the fishermen to locate a high concentration of fish in the sea. The device will also have a hub for the fishermen to communicate with their family in times of trouble.

There is no mobile network coverage in the deep seas. The gadget that is to be mounted to the device will have a Bluetooth connectivity and through our NaVIC messaging feature, we will gige more information on prospective storms. – Nilesh Desai at the panel discussion organised by Bengaluru Space Expo.

The Bluetooth will be connected to a mobile phone that will display messages.

Talking about the need to warn the fishermen about crossing maritime boundary Desai added, “If they venture (in the waters of the neighboring countries), they get caught. It can alert them when they are nearing the international water. It will be in the local language”. The message will then be passed on to their families.

The technology used can be handed over to other manufacturing agencies when there will be a mass requirement. Till now, around 2000 devices have been manufactured and each one cost about Rs.3500. Though states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala have agreed to subsidize them.

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