Mobile app to alert fishermen on no-fishing zones

• With the mass nesting season of the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles approaching, the Odisha Government in collaboration with the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) has come up with a customised mobile application which would alert fishermen about the no-fishing zones in the vast waters of the Bay of Bengal.


• The app would benefit more than 22,000 fishing boats including trawlers, motorised and non-motorised boats which are plying from various harbours and fish landing centres involving more than 1.50 lakh active marine fishers.

• The Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary has been declared a no-fishing zone off the Odisha coast.

• Each year, the turtles congregate near the Dhamara, the Devi, the Rushikulya river mouths and along the sanctuary for mass nesting.

Features of the app:

• The offline Fisher Friend Mobile Application (FFMA) can be downloaded freely by fishermen and boat crew members to know the GPS locations and the boundaries of the zones.

• According to the Government, the app will not require any cellular coverage network and will work in offline mode in the outer sea.

• The app also has additional features for providing fishing boats with near real-time information regarding weather, potential fishing zones, ocean state forecasts, disaster alerts and other information provided by the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information System (INCOIS), which will further strengthen the safety and security of the fishermen.

Additional details:

• According to the Animal Resource Development Department, the marine fisheries sector has registered sustained growth with production reaching 1.72 lakh metric tonnes in 2020-21.

• The seafood exports to international markets have increased nine-fold during the last 20 years from ₹379 crore in 2000-01 to ₹3,243 crore in 2019-20 and the quantity of seafood export from 10,640 MT to 66,650 MT during the same period.

• The Forest and Environment Department has decided to deploy five high-speed boats, along with 13 trawlers and support boats for chasing illegal activities.

• Fishing by motorised vessels and trawlers and mechanised techniques would be banned within 20 km from the specified coast of the sea comprising the congregation area and their buffer zones in the Dhamara, the Devi, the Rushikulya river mouths.


Mains Paper 2: Governance

Prelims level: Olive Ridley turtle

Mains level: Government policies and interventions for development

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