Welcome to Hooked, where this month we’re talking all things data.
Small-scale fisheries remain one of the least digitised sectors of the global economy. The lack of accessible data represents one of the biggest challenges facing communities working to rebuild their fisheries.
Working alongside our global network of community-based partner organisations, we’re looking to change things – by supporting communities to collect, analyse and share fisheries data themselves. This participatory monitoring, backed up by strong technical support, puts data in the hands of fishers, enabling them to reap benefits far beyond improved catches.
Across the Indian Ocean, local conservation efforts are gaining momentum among coastal communities. Village by village, the successes of each community, reinforced by strong data, are inspiring others to follow suit.
In 2018, communities in Madagascar’s Barren Isles archipelago established their first temporary fishery closures. Three years and 13 closures later, they are now leading their own fisheries management efforts independently, negotiating fairer prices with buyers and planning for the future.
Community members monitor catches to understand the effectiveness of local conservation efforts. These data collectors recorded that from 2018 to 2020, the total area of the closures increased fourfold, revealing a growing commitment to community conservation across the archipelago.
Early this month, the community of Indonesia’s Gangga Satu village, in North Minahasa, reopened its first temporary fishery closure. The site was open for just one week, as the community is now planning to establish a rotating closure system for its fishery.
During the closure, Gangga Satu fishers welcomed two other communities to their village to share experiences of locally led fisheries monitoring and management. The visiting community from Ende has now been inspired to start planning its own octopus fishery closure.
Since 2013, Dahari has been supporting the farmers and fishers of Comoros to regenerate their soils, reefs and forests in order to improve livelihoods and conserve biodiversity.
Dahari launched its marine conservation programme in 2015 in partnership with Blue Ventures. After successes with temporary fisheries closures – seeded by inviting fisherwomen on exchange trips to Madagascar and Zanzibar – communities on the southwest coast of Anjouan are now in the process of establishing the island’s first permanent no-take zone.
Meet Ronalee, our Fisheries Coordinator in Belize. Since joining the team in January, Ronalee has been working on the spiny lobster fishery improvement project (FIP), which aims to improve the sustainability of Belize’s lucrative spiny lobster fishery.
The FIP is a four year project that involves the national seafood industry, NGOs and most importantly, Belize’s small-scale lobster fishers.
Explore the previous special edition of Hooked for International Women’s Day
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