Harshavardhan D. Joshi#,
and Kishor K.T.#
College of Fisheries, Manglore, Karnataka, India
Institute of Fisheries Education, Seven Bunglows, Versova, Andheri
seas surrounding the Indian subcontinent including the island
territories of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar have a rich diversity
of marine life. There are nearly 1570 species of finfishes and around
1000 species of shellfishes known from the seas surrounding our
It is well
known that adaptation of fish surrounding marine environment is
controlled by important physical, chemical and biological factors.
pelagic species are known to concentrate at current boundaries
especially in areas with sharp horizontal temperature gradients.
the physical, chemical and biological parameters in space and time is
time consuming and prohibitively expensive. Indirect method of
monitoring selected parameters such as sea surface temperature and
phytoplankton pigments (chlorophyll a)
at sea surface from satellites is found very ideal as it provides
high repetivity and large spatial coverage making available a
real-time picture of any one of these parameters or a combination of
more than one parameter.
India potential fishing zone forecasts began in the late eighties at
NRSA using NOAA-AVHRR derived sea surface temperature data. In the
beginning, SST imageries were utilized by Dr. Nath at NRSA to
estimate the fish catches in the Arabian Sea. In India, use of remote
sensing for marine fisheries applications started in 1989 by
involving various national agencies. Initially NOAA AVHRR data for
Sea Surface Temperature (SST) was utilized for finding out thermal
fronts. The thermal fronts were projected as Potential Fishing Zone
or PFZ areas.
comparison of data during validation, PFZ charts were prepared and
the information was disseminated through FAX, Telephone, Radio, TV,
Newspaper and Fisheries societies etc. within shortest possible time.
Fishing data collected from the PFZ and non-PFZ locations were
program had the ambitious objective of PFZ prediction based on the
hypothesis that fish stocks are likely to gather in those thermal
fronts that are rich areas with algal food.
integrated approach was developed by Dr. Solanki at SAC using
IRS-P4-OCM derived chlorophyll concentrations and AVHRR-derived SST
for locating PFZ. Dr. Shylesh Nayak and group from SAC attempted to
understand the impact of PFZ on the fishermen community along the
Gujarat coast. Subsequently analysis of satellite derived chlorophyll
and SST features by Dr. Solanki indicated close coupling between
biological and physical parameters. Way back in 1996,Dr. Pillai and
group at CMFRI established the usefulness of PFZ advisories for
locating pelagic fish concentrations based on validation along the
Kerala coast. The PFZ forecasting technique was transferred to
INCOIS, Hyderabad in the year 2000 under the leadership of Dr.
Radhakrishnan who continued as Director of INCOIS till 2006. Dr.
Shylesh Nayak took over as Director of INCOIS since then. On the
basis of response received from fishermen societies/associations,
individual fishermen, and qualitative discussions with institutions
and communities, an effective assessment of PFZ penetration status
and feedback has been attempted by INCOIS in the year 2001 and
recommendations for new directions were implemented in stages.
PFZ validation program received a boost with the OCM (ocean
satellite remote sensing techniques were found capable of obtaining
information on water quality parameters like turbidity, suspended
concentration and presence of algal blooms and large sized aquatic
weeds. Advantage of large swath area (1420 km) and better repeativity
(once in two days) gave better chance to conduct validation exercise.
The PFZ areas could now be charted with more accuracy and an
integrated exercise started by involving more active participation
of PFZ advisories among user communities based on feedback received
from different types of vessels and fishing operations aiming at a
quantitative estimation of advantages derived in terms of increase in
fish catches as well as saving on valuable fuel oil/ human effort
through reduction in searching
for shoaling fishes has been achieved through the commissioning of
research project under the leadership of eminent marine
biologist/marine fishery experts in the maritime states of Gujarat,
Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and
Orissa. Studies undertaken by Project Leaders in the different
maritime states revealed the following:
PFZ advisories generated from satellite retrieved SST and chlorophyll
were found to be good indicators of the availability as well as
abundance of pelagic fishes such as sardines, mackerel, anchovies,
tunas, carangids etc.
They are found more beneficial to artisanal, motorized and small
mechanized sector fishermen engaged in pelagic fishing activities
such as purseseining, ringseining, gillnetting etc who could
generally locate fishable concentrations of highly migratory pelagic
species there by reducing fuel costs and in turn the overall cost of
PFZ advisories derived form satellite retrieved chlorophyll data were
found more advantageous for locating sardine shoals, which are
herbivorous in nature with feeding preference for phytoplankton.
PFZ advisories derived from satellite retrieved SST data were found
more advantageous for locating mackerel, tuna, carangid and anchovy
shoals which exhibit feeding preference for zooplankton including
small sized fin fishes and shell fishes. SST based imageries were
also found useful for locating concentration of juvenile yellow fin
tuna (popularly known as "Kera"). The large sized adult fish is
oceanic in habitat, but the juveniles migrate to shallow coastal
waters in search of preferred food, which is seasonal.
There are instances when mature mackerel gets caught in bottom
trawling gear during daytime in summer when they exhibit diurnal
vertical migration. On similar occasions PFZ advisories based on
satellite retrieved SST data are good indicators of the availability
of mackerel at surface levels during nighttime and bottom levels
during daytime at the same locality.
A.F.G., 1990. Application of satellite remote sensing to fisheries,
In: Operations research and management in fishing, Kluwer Academic
Narendra, A., Rao, M.V., Reddy, S.R., Das N.K., and Baral, N.C. 1991.
Application of satellite derived sea surface temperature of
estimation of fish catch; A pilot study; Ind.J.Mar.Sci.20:
L.H., 1992. Application of remote sensing to fisheries, final project
report of the JRC at ISPRA, Nansen Research Centre.
Santhosh, K.M., Shivraj, K.M. and Saji K. David, 1996. Application of
remote sensing techniques for locating fish concentrations-work done
in Indian waters and future prospects. Proc. Indo-
USSymposium-Workshop on remote sensing and its applications. October
1996, IIT, Mumbai, India.
Veerendra Veer .2004 "Remote Sensing and GIS applications for
Marine capture and culture fisheries" in Ed. R.S.Biradar Course
manual of Winter School on Remote Sensing and GIS applications in
fisheries research and management. Published by the Director CIFE,
Mumbai. pp 130-134.
Veerendra Veer .2005 "Use of GPS in GIS applications". In: Ed.
Chandrakant Course manual of the training program on "Farm
layout, design and instrumentation" CIFE (Deemed University),
Mumbai, 16-30 May, 2005. pp 315-319.
H. and Aarup, T. 2007 Internet Resources on Ocean Remote Sensing
Sensors, Data, Education and Ocean Models. IOC/ GOOS UNESCO
Compilation. pp 1-16.
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