fisheries data collectionA new fisheries application developed by the Pacific Community (SPC) has been launched at the 10th annual Tuna Data Workshop in Noumea this week.

Tails is an innovative mobile or tablet application designed for use by small-scale fishers to collect “catch” information, recording the quantity of fish they catch and the different species.

This new application allows fisheries officers to collect data when they are out in-the-field, even when they don’t have access to internet. Once they are connected to the internet, data is then automatically synced, uploading catch information to national datasets through integration with the ‘Tufman 2’ data management system, also developed by SPC.

Tails is currently being trialled in Tuvalu and Nauru for future rollout across the Pacific Islands region.

SPC’s Principal Fisheries Scientist for Data Management, Peter Williams, said the use of mobile technology has already enabled key improvements in data quality and the use of fisheries data to inform management decisions by governments across the region.

“Over the past 10 years since the first Tuna Data Workshop, we have seen so much change in the technology we use to assist Pacific Community members with managing their tuna data. This year we are excited to be launching our new app ‘Tails’, as well as the ongoing enhancements and add-ons to ‘TUFMAN 2’ our tuna data management system,” Mr Williams said.

Throughout the week, participants at the workshop have learned about the new developments in SPC’s tuna data management software and how to use them.

The newly-developed systems improve data quality and data sharing between Pacific Island countries and territories, with these being key themes of workshop discussions.

There is also greater integration between SPC and Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) systems, to improve user experience for SPC’s members.

The first Tuna Data Workshop was held in October 2006, when SPC member countries were first required to compile comprehensive scientific data on their tuna fleets and formally submit these data to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) on an annual basis.

SPC hosts this workshop annually each April to coincide with the deadline for the provision of scientific data to the WCPFC.

During the workshop, SPC staff along with colleagues from FFA and WCPFC, assist Pacific Islands’ fisheries officials to prepare their data in order to comply with WCPFC reporting obligations. This year SPC also welcomes WCPFC members Philippines and Vietnam to TDW.

The data provided to the WCPFC are also essential to the regional stock assessments conducted by SPC which are fundamental to the conservation and management of the tuna resource in the western and central Pacific Ocean.

Media contacts:
Jean-Noel Royer, Communication officer, jeannoelr@spc.int
Connie Donato-Hunt, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Adviser, ConnieD@spc.int