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May 2021

The power of data

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.

Catch of the day


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.

What to read:

“We made sure to give detailed feedback from each closure to all of the communities so that they could learn from each other; it quickly turned into a friendly competition.”


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.

What to read:

“The communities of Gangga Satu and Bulutui are just like us. We all have two hands, so if they can manage their octopus fisheries, we can too”

– Fudin Ali
Octopus buyer, Ende, Indonesia

In our net(work)


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.

What to read:

"At Dahari we strive to constantly learn and improve. Community-led data collection to inform adaptive management of fisheries has been central to the marine programme, facilitated by online data collection using smartphones. As of last year, we are now integrating this approach into our terrestrial work."

– Misbahou Mohamed
Co-Director, Dahari

From the shore


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.

What to read:

“FIPs are common practice in countries that depend on fisheries for food security and economic growth. I firmly believe that this project will not only improve the livelihoods of fishers, but it will also prove that sustainable lobster fishing can exist alongside Belize’s growing seafood exports.”

– Ronalee McKenzie
Fisheries Coordinator, Blue Ventures

What we're watching

Action for the ocean

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