Migrating from “Fishing to be fed” to “Fishing to fame” through mFisheries


“mFisheries is a mobile application (app) developed at the University of the West Indies (UWI) by the Caribbean ICT Research Programme (CIRP). The app is designed to improve processes at every level of the value chain of the small fisheries sector. Navigation, weather information and first aid functions benefit the fisherfolk; market price and location information is provided for the consumer; historical data and trends facilitate policy decisions.”

This was one of innovative ICT technology developed for the Aquaculture and the Fisheries Sector that was showcased during the ICT4Ag Conference in 2013.

I did a bit of reading on this ICT innovation and I thought back to my home island, Manus Province, in Papua New Guinea – we are people of the sea and it seems that there is an in-built gene in everyone, male and female, the ability to catch fish. Of course, some better than others. Fish is the main and sometimes the only protein food in the area where I come from, and thus fishing is an everyday activity. But this is mainly for daily consumption – not for commercial value.

But what if, such technology could be introduced to our local people? What if they were able to utilise this technology, together with their skills, to develop an entrepreneurial entity? That is, not just “fish to be fed” but to “fish to fame”? Fame in a way that brings greater opportunities to what is already there – abundant fish varieties for supply, possible tourist destination, fishing skilled-people etc.

Being able to have access to such technology, as mFisheries, may lead to many more doors opening and bring excitement to a forgotten island atoll paradise lost somewhere in the deep ocean.

ICT for fisheries session

There will be a session during the Caribbean-Pacific AgriFood Forum specifically looking at “ICT for Fisheries: towards replicating and scaling up” and such technologies as mFisheries and others will be further showcased. For those who may be interested in utilising mFisheries in their communities, there may be links for further training and support offers discussed.

The session will be a practical workshop and include technical presentations that aims to analyse ICT needs, identify the challenges and opportunities, creating a road map for ICT4Fisheries Projects and programmes. And most importantly, look at how best to sustain and make this sector resilient.

The guiding principles for the Caribbean-Pacific AgriFood Forum is to Link, Learn and Transform. Thus, this is a great opportunity to gain as much knowledge and information from participants and facilitators of this event from the various regions and use this knowledge to implement exciting innovations to transform our communities.

If you are interested to know more about this particular session entitled “ICT for Fisheries: towards replicating and scaling up”, and would like to be informed of updates, follow social media updates via Twitter or Facebook with the hashtags #CPAF15 and #WS8. The session will be held on Wednesday, 04 November 2015, from 13:30–17:30.

Photo credit: Carole Cholai

Blogpost by Carole Cholai, Social Reporter for the Caribbean-Pacific Agri-Food Forum 2015. 

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