Mangaluru: Fisheries Department has been working to introduce a water desalination system for deep-sea fishermen, replacing the need to carry liters of drinking water on their boats with a water purifying machine. However, despite promises made in September 2021 by the Fisheries Minister, the project’s implementation has been delayed.
Fishermen currently have to carry heavy tanks of fresh water in their boats, which can add weight and reduce the amount of space available for fish storage. Also, there is a risk of running out of drinking water mid-sea. However, the introduction of a water purification system would allow them to avoid carrying such a heavy load.
The system, already in use in America and Europe, collects saltwater through a pipe while the boat is in motion and produces freshwater through a purifier, with a capacity of up to 2,000 liters per day. The purifying unit is manufactured by an Australian-based company and costs Rs 4.60 lakh.
During the demonstration, Minister S Angara had said that financial assistance would be provided by the state government in addition to a subsidy from the Centre.
“The minister said there is a subsidy from the government to install a water treatment kit. He went to the sea in a boat in Malpe, Mangalore and held a demonstration. After that, the fishermen did not receive any information from the department,” said Mohan Bengre, Fisheries Leader.
Despite the promising start, the project has not seen any significant progress since the demonstration. Fishermen are concerned that the department lacks the necessary enthusiasm for the system’s implementation. However, under the Matsya Sampad Yojana, subsidized rates for the water treatment kit have been considered.
Fisheries Minister S. Angara explained that the process of installing the water treatment kit was ongoing and that subsidized rates were being considered for fishermen under the Matsya Sampada Yojana.
“It is intended to install a machine to treat salt water and obtain fresh water for boats going to deep sea fishing. This process is ongoing. Under the Matsya Sampada Yojana, provision of subsidized rates to fishermen has been contemplated,” said Minister Angara.