Coastal forecasting for a sustainable fisheries management system in India

India’s coastline provides multiple opportunities for sustainable development. Coastal oceans not only affect several economic sectors and the welfare of local population, but are also linked to climate change, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity.

Fisheries is a major industry in coastal states, employing millions of people and contributing to 1.1% of GDP and 5.3% of agricultural GDP of India. Globally, the Indian fishing industry is the third largest in the world. Unfortunately, the returns from the Indian coastal ocean resources are diminishing due to ecosystem degradation, over-exploitation, and climate variability.

We are developing physical and biogeochemical forecasting products and technologies for sustainable coastal fisheries management in India. Our modeling systems will provide deterministic and probabilistic predictions of coastal ocean states and Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) fields.

A PFZ advisory informs fishermen of ocean regions where sustainable and efficient fishing operations can be carried out. Current approaches of PFZ advisory has limited predictive capability and no other modeling system quantifies and forecasts uncertainties. Computationally, our probabilistic predictions are 1000-10,000 times faster than the current, traditional approaches.

We are partnering with the Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and several other ocean agencies in India for obtaining data from ocean observations systems, and for distributing our forecast products and assessments to fishermen and policy makers.

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Award: Tata Fellows win awards at MERE 2016

Poster: Coastal Forecasting