The various developmental plans formulated by the Government in the Fisheries aims at increasing the fish production of the country. Inter alia, it aims to increase the standard of living and per capita income of the fishermen who depends on fishing for their livelihood. The fishing vessels are becoming sophisticated day by day. Fishermen will be at disadvantage if they are left unaware of these developments. Therefore, training plays a vital role in educating and upgrading their knowledge to instill self confidence among them for handling any situation.
The need for organised training for the personnel meant for manning the fishing vessels was felt very much after the independence when motorisation and mechanisation of fishing vessels were started. Organised Fisheries training in India started in 1945 with two all India training programmes, one on Marine fisheries at Mandapam Camp in Tamil Nadu and the other on Inland fisheries at Barrackpore in West Bengal. However, till long, training of manpower requirement for the operation of fishing vessel was not thought of, though there was a consistent need. The Government, realising the requirement, established a chain of fishermen training centres in all Maritime States which trained a number of fishermen.
With increasing outlay in the successive five year Plans, Indian fisheries was consistently expanding. In the meantime the Merchant Shipping Act had also stipulated statutory requirement of competent certified hands for manning large ocean going fishing vessels. Govt. of India, in 1959 constituted a committee on “Fisheries Education”, for assessing the manpower requirement and to suggest measures for providing trained manpower for boosting the fishery developmental activities. CIFNET, the erstwhile Central Institute of Fisheries Operatives, was thus established in 1963 at Kochi on the recommendation of above committee to meet the trained manpower needs of ocean going fishing vessels and that of fishing industry. Subsequently, a unit of CIFNET was established in Chennai in 1968 and another unit at Vizag in 1981 to cope up with the addition requirements due to expansion of fishing fleet/industry of the country.
The Department of Nautical Science has well equipped facilities at all three centres of CIFNET for imparting training in Seamanship, Navigation, Marine Meteorology and Oceanography and provided with excellent visual aids for onshore training. The Department is responsible for imparting training, both theoretical and practical in Seamanship and Navigation for the Institutional cadets of MFVC and EDFVC including the candidates who were preparing for the competency examination for Skipper/Mates.
The Fishing Gear Division of the three Centres is responsible for handling the specialised subjects of Fishing gear materials and Design, Fishing technique, Fishery Biology, Deck Equipments etc. for the trainees of the core, ancillary and all short term courses. All the three Centres are equipped with well-established laboratory facilities with models for undertaking practical training in fishing gear materials, design and repairs.