GPS Training for Fishermen - 2012
A GPS training programme was conducted by OMCAR Foundation for fisherman of Kollukadu village, Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu on 3rd June 2012. The programme was organized at OMCAR Palk Bay Environmental Education Centre. This programme is part of the project sponsored by Natural Data Resource Management System of Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi.
Now a days GPS is one of the widely used instrument for fishers of Tamil Nadu coast. They use the GPS to mark the fishing net spots in the sea, which helps them to get back the nets. This training programme intended to teach about GPS handling procedures, its applications in rural land use pattern mapping, rescue and emergency communications.
18 fishermen aged between 14 to 35 years old have attended this one day GPS training programme. Dr.V.Balaji, Director of OMCAR Foundation delivered presentations in Tamil. He explained about latitude, longitude and how it relates to the degree, minutes and seconds of GPS coordinates. The presentation also explained about various GPS models, GPS accuracy, GPS handling safety procedures, GPS signal reception, using GPS in land use pattern mapping, how to record a waypoint, how to navigate to the recorded waypoints, how to use GPS waypoints for rescue situations
In the practical session, the fishers practiced the basic GPS operation with the guidance of OMCAR staffs. They fixed a waypoint and tried to navigate between two prefixed waypoints. They were more interested to exchange the GPS waypoints between them, as they said it is important to know to exchange the GPS waypoints so that it can be used for emergency rescue situations. The fishers also interested to conduct the same training programme for rest of their village fishers in near future.
Some of the participants of this training programme, will be included in the field work activities of NRDMS funded project entitled as "Participatory GIS Mapping of Mangroves and Land Use Pattern in Coastal Villaeges of Thanjavur District".