Animated dolphin wearing lifejacket to create awareness among Kerala fishermen


PTI, Jun 25, 2024, 12:52 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: An animated video of a lifejacket wearing dolphin will be used to create awareness among fishermen to wear lifejackets while going out and returning from sea to prevent fishing-related accidents and deaths, the Kerala government said on Tuesday.

State Fisheries Minister Saji Cheriyan told the Assembly that the government has taken several steps to prevent accidents and resultant deaths of fishermen in the coastal areas, but the measures were not being utilised effectively at the ground level.

Cheriyan said the government had distributed thousands of lifejackets and lifebuoys in the coastal areas, but it has been noticed that fishermen were not making use of them while going out to sea or when returning to shore.

The minister was replying to a query in the House by Left MLA V Joy with regard to steps taken by the government to prevent deaths of fishermen in fishing-related accidents.

Cheriyan said that most of the accidental deaths, including those at Muthalapozhi harbour here, occurred when the fishermen were going out to sea or returning to shore.

The minister said that awareness campaigns were being carried out in the coastal areas to educate fishermen on the benefits of using lifejackets.

As part of the awareness campaign, an animation of a dolphin wearing a lifejacket would be used to educate fishermen about using lifejackets, he said.

Over 70 people were reportedly killed and a large number of boats capsized in Muthalapozhi, a coastal hamlet where a river and a lake merge with the Arabian Sea, and its surrounding areas in recent years.

Muthalapozhi at Perumathura is a place where the Vamanapuram river and Kadinamkulam lake meet the Arabian Sea and has become a death trap for fishermen while going to sea and also when returning to shore.

The opposition Congress-led UDF on Monday criticised the Left government in Kerala over recurring boat capsizes and deaths in nearby Muthalapozhi harbour and staged a walkout in the Assembly, accusing them of failing to work out a permanent solution to address the issue.

Last week there were two accidents at Muthalapozhi involving fishing boats and resulted in the death of a 50-year-old fisherman. It prompted the residents of the coastal area on Thursday to hold a protest march towards the state Assembly carrying a coffin.

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