Blue Ventures has pioneered the use of mobile technology to address the challenge of data-deficiency in small-scale fisheries, capitalising on the rapid expansion of mobile technology and connectivity in low-income nations. Using open access software, freely available to all, we have developed smartphone and tablet-based fisheries monitoring forms, to capture landings information in remote communities. Blue Ventures works closely with community members to design forms that are suitable for use by those with low levels of literacy, or limited previous experience with touchscreens, or even mobile phones.
By empowering communities for fisheries monitoring in this way, this approach can capture data across vast distances, at low cost, and in real time. Where necessary, solar chargers enable community surveyors to gather data in the most remote ‘off grid’ environments, and the devices used can capture and store data in areas without mobile data coverage, before automatically syncing with the cloud as soon as a user accesses the nearest signal.