INCOIS alerts, advisories help save money and environment

Economic benefit accruing out of ocean information systems pegged at US$ 50.7 billion

Timely and prompt alerts issued by the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) in the form of forecasts and warnings to various stakeholders, including the Indian Navy, Coast Guard, shipping industry and the fishermen on the coast, have helped or is continuing to help net a benefit of thousands of crores to the economy.

About five ‘no go ahead mission’ advisories provided between 2013 and 2015 itself has worked out to to be very beneficial to the Indian Navy as it has saved more than ₹4,000 crore. The environmental effect of savings in diesel consumption computed as carbon credit would work out to an annuity of ₹36,200 crore or a present value of around ₹2.84 trillion over the 25-year useful life, informed scientists of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) institute here.

Economic analysis indicated that the real growth rate of gross value added in marine fisheries can go up to 7.8% per annum from the current level of 3.9% once the PFZ-OSF (Potential Fishing Zone – Ocean State Forecast) is operationalised uniformly across the country in all coastal areas, said senior scientist T. M. Balakrishnan Nair, in a recent interaction.

The overall economic benefit accruing out of the ocean information systems has been calculated to be the tune of US$ 50.7 billion. For example, advisories to the Coast Guard when 15,211 tonnes of oil was spilled helped save US$12.25 million in 2015, he explained.

The ‘No Tsunami Threat’ advisory issued by India Tsunami Early Warning Centre at INCOIS helps avoid relocation and rehabilitation expenditure considering that the Odisha government would have had to spend hundreds of crores (up to US$ 4.75 billion) to protect the coastal population during cyclones like Phailin in the absence of such advisory, reminded INCOIS director T. Srinivasa Kumar.

With regard to the fisheries, with about 9 lakh fishermen directly getting messages apart from community messaging, it has helped in 2-4 times more catch to them and hence the profit, a 30-70% reduction in search time as direct navigation was given to the shoal leading to carbon dioxide reduction and less fuel usage.

Mr. Nair said the Centre Marine Fisheries Research Institute had showed a 15% adoption level of the advisories, fishermen can save up to 237,754.8 gallons of diesel resulting in lesser greenhouse gas emission of 2,412 tonnes. The National Council for Applied Economic Research had computed that savings in diesel consumption is about 38.94 billion over a 25-year period.

Another study by the National Agricultural Innovation Project of 32 fishing boats in Raigad district of Maharastra showed that 18,492 gallons of diesel was saved in a month with carbon dioxide cutting down to 330,000 lbs. The environmental effect of savings in diesel consumption computed as carbon credit would work out to an annuity of ₹36,200 crore or a present value of around ₹2.84 trillion over the 25-year period, he added.

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