Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 17: In an effort to ensure the safety of seafaring fishermen, Kerala is installing high-security registration boards on fishing boats, for the first time in the world. The project is being implemented by the State Fisheries Department for the complete protection and remote monitoring of boats. In the first phase, hologram registration boards will be installed on 300 boats.

Such boards have already been installed to about 100 boats in Neendakara, Munambam and Kochi fishing harbours. 1,500 boats will be covered in the second phase, and in the third phase, about 4,000 fishing boats across the State will be installed with the hologram registration boards. These boards are installed at a subsidised rate, with the technical assistance from CDiT.

The high-security registration board with GPS / GPRS networking is a system that helps in locating and identifying deep-sea fishing boats. It is made of materials that are not damaged by saltwater in the sea. It has holographic and laser systems to detect fake registrations. A hologram board is attached on the top of the boat’s wheelhouse for better identification and communication. This ensures a clear view of 360 degrees. This also avoids damage to the registration board due to direct contact with saltwater and collisions between boats.

Its square pyramidal structure of the high-security registration board can withstand the rough climate and strong winds in rough seas. The hologram is attached to all four corners of the board. It is also helpful for security agencies as crime and smuggling using boats can be prevented. Foreign ships and boats entering our territory for illegal fishing pose a threat to the security of the country itself. The high-security registration board for boats with GPS / GPRS networking has been developed taking into account all the threats at sea.

Fishing vessels usually stay in the deep sea areas with GPRS connectivity zone for 10-15 days. Due to the lack of a communication network there, the centralised monitoring system is unable to track their activities in the deep sea. In this case, enforcement agencies such as the Coast Guard, Coastal Police and Navy can monitor fishing boats using government-approved registration numbers only. Authorities will be able to identify and investigate any unregistered fishing boats and those displaying fake registration numbers if they carry out any illegal activities at the national maritime border. The bogus number can be identified quickly as the registration number and serial number can be verified using a satellite-based communication device.