mFish is a public-private partnership that aims to make fishing more sustainable and improve the lives of fishermen and their communities by developing practical solutions that use the power of commercially viable mobile technology.
Over the past several decades, small-scale fishermen in the developing world have faced increasing challenges. Their catches are declining because of overfishing. They are spending more and more money on fuel and more time out on the ocean to catch enough to make ends meet. They also face increasing competition from larger vessels that may be fishing illegally. With 50 percent of the fish caught for human consumption coming from small-scale and artisanal fisheries, the livelihoods of these fishermen are crucial to the fate of their often poor communities. Meanwhile, the number of active mobile subscriptions worldwide is expected to reach 7.3 billion by 2014, surpassing the number of people on the planet. This explosion in mobile phone growth and use offers unprecedented opportunities for innovators to utilize the mobile platform to promote sustainable livelihoods.
To capitalize on the revolution in mobile technology in order to improve the lives of people and the sustainability of small-scale and artisanal fisheries, the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships (S/GP) in collaboration with Tone and GSM Association, launched mFish on June 17, 2014 at Secretary Kerry’s “Our Ocean” Conference. mFish links fishermen with markets and builds capacity for improved fishery management as well as creates a network of fishermen. In August, 2016, EcoHub was appointed by S/GP to drive the development of mFish and the Our Oceans Conference in September 2016 marked the official launch of the partnership between S/GP, mFish, and EcoHub.
mFish uses mobile services to provide real-time information to help fishermen, managers and the seafood industry to communicate, access information and share data seamlessly. The mobile services can be used to collect and analyze catch data, monitor illegal fishing, trace seafood along supply chains, and improve fishing safety. mFish focuses on the following four elements:
- Sustainability: Make fishing more sustainable and improve the economic conditions in fishing villages.
- Engagement: Reach, teach, and engage under-served fishing communities.
- Mobile Technology Solutions: Use mobile services to provide real-time information to help fishermen, managers and the seafood industry to communicate, access information, and share data seamlessly.
Capacity: Link fishermen with markets and build capacity for improved fishery management as well as create a network of fishermen.
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