MSSRF INCOIS information services helps prevent economic loss of Jegan

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Case study 5

MSSRF INCOIS information services helps prevent economic loss of Jegan
Anthony Jeganraj 
Age: 29
Type of boat: Fibre Reinforced Plastic Boat
Village: Olaikuda
District: Ramanathapuram

Jegan is a fisherman who hails from Olaikuda, a small fishing village in the island of Rameshwaram, Tamilnadu. He has been engaged in fishing for his livelihood from a very young age onwards. He lives with his parents, his wife Paraloga Jayasundari and their two young children. He owns a small fiber boat in which he ventures into sea regularly.

He has actively participated in several fisheries related training programs organised by the Village Knowledge Centre in his village. Some of the training programs he participated include Diesel engine mechanism training for boat engines and training on how to utilize Global Positioning Systems for fishing. Once during his visit to the Village Knowledge Centre he was informed regarding the Fisher Friend Mobile Application. Jegan on hearing about the mobile application immediately registered himself as a pilot test user for the Fisher Friend Mobile Application. On March 2009 he was provided with a handset containing the Fisher Friend Mobile Application. He was trained on how to access fisheries related livelihood information such as wave height, wind speed and direction, weather forecast, potential fishing zone, market information, and latest fisheries related news alerts and fisheries related government schemes.

After becoming a pilot user he used to check for updates such as the wave height, weather forecast, and wind speed regularly before venturing into the sea. Once on a windy day Jegan cast his nets near a rocky formation beneath the sea. The idea was that , fishes are usually concentrated near rocky areas. However there was an inherent risk involved in this technique as there was a very good probability that the net might drift towards and entangle in the rocks. Slowly the wind speed increased up to 40 Kilometer per hour. Jegan was worried about the increasing wind condition and checked the Fisher Friend Mobile Application for wind speed predictions. The application indicated that winds were expected to blow at a very high speed towards South West direction. Jegan realized that the undersea rocks were situated towards the South West direction and there was a very good possibility that the nets could drift towards the rocks due to the very high wind speeds blowing towards that direction which may influence the waves and under water current too. Realising this Jegan immediately hauled back his net and returned back to shore. He says that because of the timely information he was able to protect his nets which are very expensive to buy or repair. Realising the beneficial value of the application he now says that he is willing to pay a fee to avail the service of the application in a regular manner. He is happy that he was a part of the testing process as a pilot test user and thanks M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation for providing with the opportunity.