Fisheries Information Management System officially launched |04 July 2023
The Fisheries Information Management System (FIMS) developed under the Third South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth Project (SWIOFish) was officially launched yesterday afternoon at the Savoy Seychelles Resort and Spa, Beau Vallon.
The new software, administered by the Seychelles Fishing Authority, is an innovative step forward in the management and accessibility of fisheries information not only for those working directly in the industry, but also for stakeholders including the general public.
SWIOFish3 had funded TraSeable Solutions, a Fiji based company, who then developed the FIMS system.
Speaking at yesterday’s ceremony, the chairman of the SFA board, Radley Weber, explained that FIMS will allow the monitoring of fish populations, identification of overfishing and development of effective management strategies.
“Without such information, the quality and credibility of decision-making can be undermined, while the prospect of effective oversight and accountability diminishes,” he stated.
Mr Weber went on to state that it was further identified that data reporting was often fragmented and that timely information were not being disseminated in user-friendly formats.
“By consequence, basic fisheries information remains out of the public domain or difficult to access.”
He went on to explain the overall objectives of the project, which included improving access to fisheries information, in terms of accessibility, availability and timeliness and to help facilitate the exchange of fisheries data and information within SFA, between SFA and its stakeholders and the general public.
Finally, it was to provide a centralised and a web-based FIMS that will incorporate all of SFA’s available fisheries datasets for presentation in the form of dashboards, graphs, tables, and other visual representatives.
He crossed over the key functionalities of the FIMS project. It will view and access fishing vessels details and who is authorised to conduct fishing and related activities in Seychelles territory, sovereign rights and beyond national zones. It will explore how each fishery is being managed, what data is being collected, the status of different species stocks, and what research and projects are being implemented. Finally they will learn about the different monitoring, control and surveillance activities by SFA to ensure compliance with national and international fisheries-related laws and regulations.
Kenneth Katafono, founder of TraSeable Solutions, explained the rationale of the project and went in depth on it. “The FIMS collates and integrates SFA fisheries data in a single digital platform for us to extract and for all the stakeholders to access,” he stated.
He explained that it is developed using open source technology that has been used successfully for over 10+ years in national and regional fisheries agencies in the Pacific. It employs multiple layers of security to protect the data. It is also hosted internally at SFA with a standby server in the Amazon Web Services Cloud. Those who will have data access to FIMS externally will be stakeholders such as Central Bank of Seychelles, National Bureau of Statistics, Seychelles Ports Authority,that will have restricted access to FIMS data based on official requests.
Departments will be responsible for their own data. There will be collating, processing and uploading, which will be done periodically by the SFA staff. In addition, there will be an internal verification by heads of departments. Once approved, the statistics department will provide final approval before data is published to the FIMS.
Designated Minister Jean François Ferrari, who is also the Minister for Fisheries and the Blue Economy, officially launched the system exclaiming that in today’s world, data is becoming more and more important as part of the modern day public administration and decision making.
“While no one can ignore the merits of such forms of decision making processes, dealing with data that is often unstructured and vast in nature remains a real conundrum,” he stated.
He noted that this is where systems such as FIMS comes to aid. “It helps us organise the data, structure it and represent them in user friendly formats that can eventually be used constructively by technicians, policy and decision-makers alike.”
He concluded by stating that under his leadership he has continuously pushed to have the fisheries sector recognised as one that is tuning in to the future and technological developments happening. “Hence, I cannot be prouder to be standing here today to be unveiling such a remarkable initiative.”