Fishermen in Kalk Bay, South Africa. Photo Credit: Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty Images

Technology USA9. March 2021

From Apps to AI, Fishermen Share and Find Sustainable Solutions Online

A website developed by an American nonprofit is helping small-scale fishermen and coastal communities find digital solutions – from apps to artificial intelligence – to have sustainable activities and tackle issues caused by climate change.

“Small-scale fishers are already facing many challenges – from multiple marine uses, declining fish stocks, threats from overfishing – and climate change is just going to exacerbate those challenges,” says Alexis Rife, director of small-scale fisheries initiatives at Environmental Defense Fund, which put in place the Small-Scale Fisheries Resource and Collaboration Hub, a multilingual website where fishermen can share ideas, find solutions to their problems, even expand their knowledge.

An example of how coastal communities can find their solutions in digital tools is in Indonesia, where cameras with artificial intelligence and algorithms are currently tested to monitor the number of vessels that go out to sea and estimate their catch. In Taiwan, all small-scale fishermen use GPS devices not only to help the workers but to shape government policy. And in South Africa, the Abalobi app, launched five years ago, helps to log catches, record fish sales, find buyers and inform fishermen about the latest fishing regulations and notices.

Thomson Reuters Foundation

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