Indian fisherfolk will soon be aided by an indigenously developed satellite that will direct them to fertile fishing spots. The Rs 70 crore Oceansat satellite, being designed by scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation, will enhance the costly facilities currently provided by two US satellites. "Oceansat will not only boost Indian fish catch three-fold but also improve medium-range weather forecasting," says Narendra Nath, a senior scientist at the National Remote Sensing Agency in Hyderabad.
The 400-kg satellite, due to be launched in 1997, will use thermal sensors to monitor sea-surface temperatures. This will help in locating areas with high chlorophyll, which attract fish. Besides, information on the location of the highly-priced yellow-fin tuna, which are found in waters with temperatures of 27o-29o C, can be radioed to fisherfolk.
Speaking at a meeting organised by the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting in Delhi, Nath observed that the ocean monitoring capabilities of the satellite will also help predict the weather.
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