• Catch of the day

    Catch of the day

    A mobile app is being piloted to aid data generation in small-scale fishing in parts of South Africa. Abalobi is essentially an integrated information-management system for small-scale fisheries that ‘aims to enable these communities to be integrated into information and resource networks, from fishery monitoring and maritime safety to local development and market opportunities’, according to its website.

    The gap between scientific knowledge and that of experienced local fishermen is considerably large, which means that more often than not, small-scale fishermen do not receive a good price for their catch. Simple information-sharing and communication between them and the government could free them from this ‘price-takers’ system, says University of Cape Town researcher Serge Raemaekers. As reported by SciDevNet, he argues that the government has very little data and no way of knowing what the catch per unit is.

    The trial is expected to help iron out some of the finer details, such as who will own the data itself and how the data generated by fishermen will be accessed. The app will encourage information-sharing on types of fish caught, how they are caught and how much income fishermen make per round. It also aims to motivate them to form co-operatives and develop local economies around the fishing policy.

    24 May 2016
    Image: Serge Raemaekers