The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (Incois), Hyderabad, has launched three ocean-based specialised products/services —
- The Small Vessel Advisory and Forecast Services System (SVAS),
- The Swell Surge Forecast System (SSFS) and
- the Algal Bloom Information Service (ABIS).
What is INCOIS?
Incois, an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, provides a number of free services for users in the marine realm, including fishermen.
It is mandated to provide the best possible ocean information and advisory services to society, industry, government agencies and the scientific community through sustained ocean observations and constant improvement through systematic and focused research.
INCOIS Launches Services:
1.The SVAS is aimed at improving the operations of numerous small marine vessels, particularly fishing vessels.
SVAS is an innovative impact-based advisory and forecast service system for small vessels operating in Indian coastal waters, said an Incois release. It warns users about potential zones where vessel overturning can take place, 10 days in advance. The advisories are valid for small vessels of beam width up to 7 m. This limit covers the fishing vessels used in all the nine coastal States and Union Territories.
The warning system is based on the Boat Safety Index (BSI) derived from wave model forecast outputs such as significant wave height, wave steepness, directional spread and the rapid development of wind at sea, which is boat-specific
2.The SSFS is designed to predict the kallakkadal, or swell surge, that occurs along the Indian coast, particularly the West. These are flashflood events that take place without any noticeable advance change in local winds or any other apparent signature in the coastal environment. Kallakkadal is a colloquial term used by Kerala fishermen to refer to the ‘freaky’ flooding episodes. Since most people mistake these for tsunamis, the SSFS will be useful, said the release.
3.The ABIS tracks the increasing frequency of algal blooms, a major concern due to its ill-effects on fishery, marine life and water quality. This service helps fishermen, marine fishery resource managers, researchers, ecologists and environmentalists.
INCOIS-ABIS will provide near-real time information on spatio-temporal occurrence and spread of phytoplankton blooms over the North Indian Ocean.
Four regions have been identified as bloom hotspots-
- North Eastern Arabian Sea
- coastal waters off Kerala
- Gulf of Mannar
- coastal waters of Gopalpur.
What is Kallakkadal?
These are flashflood events that take place without any noticeable advance change in local winds or any other apparent signature in the coastal environment. Kallakkadal is a colloquial term used by Kerala fishermen to refer to the ‘freaky’ flooding episodes.
Kallakkadal is a colloquial term used by Kerala fishermen to refer to the freaky flooding episodes and in 2012 UNESCO formally accepted this term for scientific use. They are caused by meteorological conditions in the Southern Ocean, south of 30°S.
- An algal bloom or marine bloom or water bloom is a rapid increase in the population of algae in an aquatic system. They may occur in freshwater as well as marine environments.
- Harmful Algal Blooms, or HABs, occur when colonies of algae grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals and birds.
- Harmful Algal Blooms can:
- Produce extremely dangerous toxins that can sicken or kill people and animals.
- Create dead zones in the water.
- Raise treatment costs for drinking water.
- Hurt industries that depend on clean water.