Tamilnadu fisherman started first and only radio channel for fisherfolks.

A Tamilnadu fisherman has started ‘Kadal Osai FM 90.4’, India’s first and only radio channel for fisherfolks. Armstrong Fernando, from the Ramanathapuram district’s Pamban town started the radio channel as it offers infotainment to listeners – as the only station that broadcasts information on marine affairs, COVID-19, and issues related to fishermen and women. The radio channel also airs folk songs performed by the community’s fishermen and women on the radio. He used to listen to the radio since his childhood. Fernando has studied till 8th standard, he grew up in the industry and travelled to various places to listen to the community radio for farmers. Later, he planned to start a radio for his fishing community. He launched this channel and decided to make the station more informative for the benefit of the fishing industry. Nearly 80 percent population of Pamban is engaged in fishing. The transmission range is 5-10 kilometers now. He requests the government should increase the range and pave way for it to be broadcast across Pamban island. Due to government regulations regarding the proximity of the Indian and Sri Lankan islands to the international border, island fishermen are only allowed to stay at sea for 24 hours. The fish they could catch during that period were sold at whatever price onshore. Sometimes information is collected and transmitted to know where there are more fish, as well as how they move during high-speed waves or storms. This radio is becoming an integral part of everyday fishing life. Kadal Osai FM 90.4 is making a significant impact on the Pamban Island in Tamil Nadu as it transmits marine safety awareness to the latest information on social distance, from creating more alternative livelihoods. Fishermen residing at Pamban Island in Tamil Nadu, located between peninsular India and Sri Lanka call it their radio station. Apart from the station manager Gayatri, the other 12 staff members of the station are part-time fishermen or their family members. Students, housewives, and fishermen learn about the daily happenings in the town as this channel benefits the local community. It also serves as a direct link between the government and the community to quickly resolve people’s problems, from receiving government incentives to purchasing tokens for fishing.