With Home Minister Rajnath Singh set to chair a meeting on coastal security with CMs of nine coastal states and four Union Territories in Mumbai on June 16, government sources said modalities of implementing a crucial project to install automatic identification system transponders in all small fishing vessels could be finalised at the meeting.
“The plan involves installing Automatic Identification System in all vessels less than 20 m in length. This will enable tracking of these vessels at any point of time. Identification system for vessels longer than 20m is already mandatory,” said a government source. “We could give funds to the animal husbandry department or the states for implementing the project,” the source added.
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The Home Ministry had moved a Cabinet proposal last year seeking approval for installation of transponders free of cost in all fishing vessels below 20 m in length to track their movement up to a distance of 50 km from the coastline.
The Ministry plans to bear expenditure for installation of Automatic Identification System-Proprietary transponders in all fishing vessels, and it will be implemented by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries under Agriculture Ministry. Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships will provide technical assistance.