Radio Monsoon aims to ensure safety reigns among fishermen in south India
In India’s southern state of Kerala, because of overfishing and climate change, fish stocks are rapidly decreasing. In order to catch more fish, fishermen are forced to go out into the open sea with their small boats, risking life especially during the monsoon season.
Radio Monsoon radio station provides a low-tech forecast service to encourage 30,000 families to fish more safely. Radio Monsoon’s forecasts are disseminated through social media, loudspeakers placed in harbours and through a phone line supported by an internet server. The weather data is based on India’s Meteorological Department and the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).
The team who developed the idea is made up of a retired teacher, a journalist, a user interface designer and a social media expert, all from Kerala. One of them is Maxmillan Martin, a research associate at the University of Sussex which first had the idea after a devastating tsunami in 2004.
Martin said fishermen never had the habit to ask for advice, especially since their livelihood depend on them going out to fish whatever the weather. “They told us they just take their gear on to the boats and nothing for safety, because they believe they just need to be able to swim. If they are good swimmers, then they can do it; if not, the attitude was ‘Well, that’s too bad.’ They are not really afraid because it’s just part of their lives. The way they perceive risk is totally different than how we do.”
Source: The Guardian