Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) forecasts are operationally disseminated to all the maritime States including the two Union Territories since 1993. An integrated approach for Potential Fishing Zone based on Chlorophyll & Sea Surface Temperature have been developed, validated and transferred to Indian National Centre for Coastal and Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) for operational use. Under INCOIS 436 nodes have been established through phone, fax, email and electronic display boards where PFZ maps are being distributed and through internet and Web-GIS further about 5700 user groups are receiving the forecast including fishery departments/ central govt. agencies/corporate and fishermen groups. About 40,000 users are benefited through PFZ forecast.
Feedback indicates that on an average 80% success rate is achieved. 18 controlled experiments shows that search time has reduced by 60-70%, average catch per unit effort has increased 2-4 times. The average increase in net profit is about 2-4 %. Potential fishing zones were initially forecasted using sea surface temperature data. Addition of chlorophyll information derived from OCEANSAT-1 introduced the important link of sea food chains and improved the accuracy of forecast. A third parameter, the Sea Surface Wind (SSW), which indicates the effect of currents on feeding grounds, has now been incorporated resulting in further improvement in forecasts.