At a function organized by the Fishing Technology Division of the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Cochin, Shri K. Babu, Hon’ble Minister for Fisheries, Ports and Excise, Govt. of Kerala launched the CIFT Sun Boat, asolar powered boat on 23rd February, 2014at Matsyafed Njarakkal Fish Farm in presence of Dr. T.K. Srinivasa Gopal, Director CIFT. The boat with length of 3.6 m is twin hulled and is solely propelled by solar power. It can be put to use in aqua farms for aquacultural purposes and for gillnetting, line fishing, transportation and aqua tourism. It’s main advantages are that it does not burn fuel, there is no atmospheric or sound pollution, has more deck space with clean FRP surface for fish handling and issuitable for shallow waters. The CIFT Sun Boat is costlier than the conventional boat but the additional cost is compensated by the fuel saved. The Minister while congratulating the institute said that such ventures will make fishing more viable especially in the context of limited fossil fuels. Dr. Srinivasa Gopal in his presidential address expressed his happiness that the institute has been successful in introducing ecofriendly solar technologies in vessel propulsion. Shri M.V. Baiju, Senior Scientist and Naval Architect spoke on the main features of the new fishing vessel and its advantages over conventional fishing vessels. Shri K.S. Sajeevan, Manager, Aqua Division, Matsyafed offered felicitation. Dr. S. Girija, Director, NIFPHATT, Cochin and Dr. R.C. Sinha, Director, CIFNET, Cochin graced the occasion. Representatives of inland fishermen organizations attended the meeting. Dr. Leela Edwin, Head and Principal Scientist, Fishing Technology Division, CIFT welcomed the gathering and Dr. M.P. Remesan, Principal Scientist, Fishing Technology Division, CIFT proposed the vote of thanks.
Shri K. Babu launching the boat The dignitories in the boat after the launching