Packaging waste turns into Butterfly Boats

By Sradha Meloot

Packaging waste and pieces of hardboard, fibre-glass and other material collected from construction sites may help to materialise the dreams of hundreds of small fishermen to own a fishing boat.

South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies (SIFFS), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) working in the Marine Fisheries Sector, has proved that small sea-going fishing boats can be made using waste material, that too at half the cost of a normal boat.

Twelve-feet fishing boats, named ‘Poombatta’ (Butterfly) were built under the leadership of J. Vincent Jain. ”We have tested the boats in Veli Lake and found that they are suitable for three people. It can be used both for fishing and tourism purpose,” Mr Jain told Kadapuram News.

”Our twin objective is to reduce polution and also bring down the cost of small fishing boats,” he said, adding that a 12-feet ‘Poombatta” boat can be built for less than Rs 20,000. A normal boat in the same size would cost in the range of Rs 40,000 to Rs 45,000.

He pointed out that dumping of packaging waste pose a threat to marine ecology also. If such aan initiative is taken in a large scale, environment pollution can be brought down.

”We are mainly using packaging material used to pack boat engines and generators. It is usually discarded after unpacking the contents. The material has been laminated with fibreglass for the hull,” he added.

We are planning to give training to women in boat making from waste material.

SIFFS is the apex body of organisations of small-scale artisanal fish workers. With over 9,000 member fishermen, organised through 153 primary societies in eight districts of Southern peninsular India, SIFFS over the last two decades has kept its focus on strengthening the artisanal fisheries.

Established essentially as a fish-marketing organisation, SIFFS now provides a range of services to member and non-member fish workers. Today, over 65,000 fish workers including non-members are availing these services.

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