Kochi: In the wake of cyclone Ockhi, ways and means to improve the weather warning system for fishermen will be discussed at an international symposium, being held here this month by Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute.

The international symposium on Societal Applications in Fisheries and Aquaculture using Remote Sensing Imagery (SAFARI), from January 15 to 17, will host a special session to discuss ways and means to improve the weather warning system for fishermen in Kerala, a CMFRI release said today.

Fishermen, experts from Indian Meteorological Department, scientists from Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service, Hyderabad and officials from Department of Fisheries will meet to analyse the efficacy of the system and propose the required amendments to improve the facility.

The meet is generally aimed at strengthening the dissemination mechanism of cyclone forecasts, besides creating awareness among them of existing facilities in this regard, including online and mobile app services.

"The session will set a platform where the scientific and fishermen communities could share their views and suggestions for boosting the communication mechanism to reduce the calamities following natural disasters like Ockhi", said Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director of CMFRI.

The meet would help gather inputs from different stakeholders to make the system more effective, he said. "Fishermen who really are at the receiving end of such disasters will have a set of suggestions out of their experiences they are going through", he said.

Gopalakrishnan opined that most fishermen in Kerala are unaware of weather forecasting services provided by many agencies.

"It is quite evident that many of forecasting facilities are not directly reaching out to the targeted community. The mobile app services for weather forecasting, ocean states and potential fishing zone are not successful in Kerala, while those are a hit in many other states", he said.

The session will also deal with issues related to the conflicts between fishermen and other navigators in the sea. The meet will look into resolving the issue of unceasing conflicts over sea routes and protected areas.

Towards this, discussions will be held on marine spatial planning conducted by CMFRI to locate fishing areas, navigational channels and protected areas distinctively in the open sea waters. State Fisheries Minister J Mercykkuttyamma will inaugurate the special session at the SAFARI symposium. A three-day training programme prior to the symposium will be held from January 12 to 14 at the Institute.

PTI