Tails is a smartphone and tablet application that allows coastal fisheries staff to easily collect tuna and reef fish catch information from small-scale fishers in remote locations and send it instantly back to the main office for analysis, even when internet connectivity is limited. This technology eliminates the need for costly and time consuming delays in sending paper-based data from outer islands to the central fisheries office to help pacific countries monitor and manage their artisanal tuna catch with today’s data, not last year’s data.
Collecting artisanal fishing data is a challenging task in the Pacific, as communities are often dispersed widely over large ocean areas, making data collection traditionally a very slow and expensive process. These data are valuable for monitoring changes to the catch rates and catch composition, evaluating the effectiveness of nearshore FADs and other food security projects and to ensure conservation of valuable coastal marine resources. A better solution was needed to streamline data collection, reduce costs and allow coastal fisheries staff to spend more time collecting and analysing data, and less time dealing with the logistics of paper-based information.
Tails provides a rapid method of sending small-boat catch data from remote locations to central fisheries offices. This ensures data collection and analysis can occur quickly enough to support fisheries management initiatives and decision making for Pacific Island countries and territories. The app was developed by Bruno Deprez, Steven Bagshaw and Andrew Hunt from the data management section of SPC’s Fisheries Division and it relies on TUFMAN 2, SPC’s standard fisheries data management platform in the region, in order to report on and manage the data.
Artisanal data collection often occurs in areas with limited internet connectivity and the Tails app was designed and built to address this challenge. By allowing data collection to be performed completely offline, Tails is then able to send weeks or even a month of collected data in one transfer when even a modest internet connection is available. Tails also requires very little bandwidth to operate, and can send off around 500 fishing trips to the national office with only one megabyte of data.
Successful field trials of Tails were initially conducted in Nauru, and today many SPC member countries are taking advantage of this tool to assist with artisanal data collection.
Tails is available for Android devices only, and can be downloaded here
(note: a private account for one of the fisheries offices is required to upload data)