For effective and seamless dissemination of emergency data and communication on Potential Fishing Zones (PFZ), disaster alerts, and Ocean States Forecasts (OSF) to fishermen, the Government of India had launched the Gagan Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation & Information (GEMINI) device.
The Ocean State Forecasts encompass the forecasts on waves, winds, water temperature, ocean currents, etc. for every 6 hrs on a daily basis for the next 5 days helping fishermen in maximizing their profits, ensuring their safety, and in the drafting of fishing activities.
Though the forecasts and advisories are scattered through different communication modes, none of them could give such information, including the disaster alerts when the fishermen move away from the coast beyond 10-12 km. That remained as a significant limitation in circulating the information to fishermen who go in the ocean beyond 50 nautical miles; at times up to 300 nautical miles and beyond to carry out multi-day fishing.
This lacuna was seriously felt during the Ockhi cyclone in 2017 when fishermen went out, for Deep Ocean fishing before the onset of the cyclone and couldn’t be informed about the developing cyclone. This communication gap had resulted in the increased death toll, serious wounds to those saved, and severe damages to fishing gear and fishing boats.
To resolve this problem, the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), which is an independent body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) had worked together with Airports Authority of India (AAI) to use the GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) satellite system and to convey the OSF, PFZ, and disaster warnings to fishermen with the GAGAN system consisting of three geosynchronous satellites (namely GSAT-10, GSAT-8, and GSAT-15). GAGAN foot-print protects the entire Indian Ocean round-the-clock.
To collect the messages transmitted through the GAGAN satellites, the INCOIS together with the AAI had developed a low-cost GAGAN system-enabled GEMINI (GAGAN Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation and Information) device and was electronically designed & manufactured by a private entity M/S Acord, Bangalore under the Make in India Programme of Government of India. The GEMINI device would receive and transfer the information received from GAGAN satellite/s to a mobile through Bluetooth communication. A mobile application was created by INCOIS decodes and shows the information in nine regional languages.