Kochi: Cochin Shipyard Limited today signed contracts for construction of 16 Tuna Long Lining cum Gillnetting Fishing Vessels for fishermen from Tamil Nadu under Blue Revolution Scheme with financial assistance from Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu. A tripartite contract to this effect was signed and the Steel Cutting Ceremony for these 16 vessels took place at CSL this morning in the presence of Shri. Madhu S Nair, CMD-CSL, Dr. G Sameeran, IAS, Additional Director (Fisheries), Govt. of Tamil Nadu and other senior officials from Department of Fisheries, Government of Tamil Nadu, CSL and Central Institute of Fisheries Technology. The Tamil Nadu government had earlier came up with a plan to reduce the number of trawlers in Palk Bay by converting such boats into deep-sea fishing vessels by 2020. The shift from trawling to deep-sea fishing would mean that fishermen would be able to move out of Palk Bay, where they are often arrested by the Sri Lankan authorities, and fish in the waters of the Bay of Bengal.
This is CSL’s first entry into the fishing vessel construction segment. CSL, known for its capabilities in construction of big and high-end specialised vessels wishes to bring in quality, modern and efficient products to this currently unorganised sector thereby benefitting not only the fishing community, but also partnering in the effort to sustain the ecology by promoting long lining and gillnetting activities as against the highly damaging trawling that currently exists in this space. The current order for 16 boats, has been construed by CSL as a Pilot project as part of its attempt to venture into and understand the requirements of this sector. CSL is partnering with the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) in this endeavour with inspection under Indian Register of Shipping. The proposed vessel of length around 22 metres is provided with Central and State subsidy to the maximum of 56 Lakhs for the selected beneficiaries of the Fisheries Department.