In a move to strengthen coastal security, the Odisha government has asked fishermen to paint their boats and trawlers with a specific colour pattern for their easy identification.
The ‘colour code’ has been made a mandatory provision for registered sea-bound vessels, and their licences are liable to be cancelled if the norm is flouted, according to a Marine Fisheries Department official.
Kendrapara District Fisheries Officer Gyan Ranjan Samal said that all fishermen and trawler-owners had been directed to paint their vessels red and black. The cabin and hull will sport red while the upper part of the deck will be painted black, the official said, adding that the cost will have to be borne by vessel owners.
Fisheries Department officials said the fishing vessels often acted as conduits for sea-route smuggling and subversive activity and the colour pattern would go a long way in identifying them.
There are around 5,500 registered fishing vessels in Odisha’s Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur coastal districts, Samal said. The mandatory colour scheme would help differentiate local fishing vessels from those of neighbouring coastal states and well as foreign fishing trawlers.
“The introduction of the colour code is going to ease considerably the job of combating sea route trespassing by sea patrolling units,” an official of the Coast Guard said.
The vessels registered under the Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act would also have to display the registration numbers prominently for clear visibility of sea patrol units engaged in coastal security patrol and turtle protection exercise, said officials.
Any violation would result in confiscation of the vessel and arrest of the crew in accordance with the provisions of OMFRA, he said.