Mobile devices are becoming increasingly affordable and mobile applications more easy to use. These information and communication systems are now being commonly used in other sectors such as agriculture and health, and presents an exciting opportunity for assisting small-scale fishers in their day to day operations including fishery monitoring, maritime safety, local development and exploiting market opportunities.
Mwambao was invited to attend a workshop in Cape Town, South Africa bringing together fisher groups, fisher leaders, NGOs, academics and other stakeholders with experience of ICTs to share experiences and to promote networking at international, regional and local levels.
Discussions centred around the core Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries (VGSSF) principles and the critical questions of data ownership, protection of local knowledge and power imbalances related to new technologies were addressed. Various open-source platforms, already in existence or in development, are enabling fisher communities to be incorporated into information and resource networks. Five different fisheries-driven mobile apps were demonstrated and various open-source platforms already in existence were discussed.
Outputs from the workshop will include Best Practice Guidelines for ICT4Fisheries linked to the ‘SSF Guidelines’, a website portal linking various ICT4Fisheries initiatives and a network of practitioners and interested stakeholders that can engage in broader, international cross-learning and collaboration.