Fishing boats become part of race to cut carbon

Graphic from The Hindu

The Hindu newspaper this week published a feature that relates to ADSGAF’s work to install solar panels on fishing boats:

Fishing boats to reduce carbon footprint

Hundreds of deep sea going fishing boats operating from Kerala and Tamil Nadu will soon be key players in a global bid to cut carbon emissions.

The Association of Deep Sea Going Artisanal Fishermen (ADSGAF) has taken up a pilot project to equip fishing vessels with solar panels so as to save fuel on long voyages and reduce the carbon footprint.

The second boat under the NABARD-funded project was put out to sea from the Muttom harbour in Kanyakumary district on Sunday. The first vessel fitted with solar panels had begun operations from the Thoppumpadi harbour, Ernakulam, in May this year.The solar panels are used to charge the battery which powers the GPS navigation equipment, fish finder and two VHF sets for communication, as well as signals and other lights on board.

Fishermen’s fears

“At sea, fishermen keep the boat’s engine running continuously, fearing they will be stranded if it refuses to restart,” says Vincent Jain, Chief Executive, ADSGAF. “By partly switching over to solar energy, they save fuel while cutting down on carbon emission”.

The boats usually remain at sea for about 15 days. Trials carried out by ADSGAF proved that switching off the inboard engine for three hours could save 30 litres of fuel a day, translating into an annual saving of at least Rs.4,65,000 for a boat.

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