Small scale fisheries are chronically under-reported in national and international catch statistics. So their importance for food production and well being are usually not appreciated. As a result, fishing communities also face difficulties in local fisheries management and being perceived for their real value at national level.

The workshop addressing this crucial challenge was conducted on 4 September 2015 by Stephen Box of the Smithsonian Institution through a weblink with a full house of scientists and fisheries managers at the International Rice Research Institute. It was organised by Oceana Philippines in collaboration with the FishBase Information and Research Group FIN.

The solution centred on three synergistic tools,

  • an ID card for fishers with photo that recognises their identity and status, something often absent in coastal fishing communities,

  • a vessel tracking tool in the form of a solar powered device that logs GPS position and sends the information using available cell networks; data is sent from the device mounted on the vessel to a server on land whenever the vessel is within the range of a cell phone tower. No action is required on the part of the fishers. Outside the range of the cell phone network data are stored on the device until the vessels returns within range.

  • an Android App that runs on smart phones or tablets to be used by fish buyers, fish cooperatives and fish associations to record landings and keep transaction records with associated fishers and provide a business management tool. It replaces paper records about fish landings and buyers and collects catch linked to each fisher. The primary data input by fish mongers etc. gets collected by a server system that provides web interfaces for administration, data analysis and reporting.

The system has been successfully developed and deployed with coastal communities in Honduras, Central America. It is also being tried in several other countries in Asia and elsewhere now.

Photos courtesy CE Nauen.

For further information, please contact Stephen Box at Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein! or Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!