Innovation That Matters

Fishing app | Photo source Pixabay

Open source app connects traditional fishers to markets


South African traditional fishers use this app to log catches, improve government data and build relationships with markets.

Previously overlooked as small businesses, South African traditional fishers are now connected and in charge of their data. Developed in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals of alleviating poverty, consuming responsibly and promoting sustainability, the Abalobi Fisher app suite is free for small-scale fishers. The suite consists of five, interconnected apps that range from a personal log of catch data to community analytics, safety and live virtual market transactions.

The apps were designed by South African fishers, University of Cape Town academics and the new small-scale fisheries unit in the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Fishers choose with whom to share their data, and a key strand of the apps’ continued development is the use of local knowledge for environmental stewardship. As an open source resource, the Abalobi team is hoping to expand into other communities and countries.

The very nature of subsistence farming makes it difficult to improve, so development projects have tended to be specific to local situations. Previous Springspottings include using coffee wastewater to generate energy, and more sustainable, low-tech farming solutions. How else could technology be developed to help small and remote communities better manage their farming output with eco-friendly methods?



Download PDF