Fisher Friend Mobile Application: a decision support system for small scale fishers in India

TitleFisher Friend Mobile Application: a decision support system for small scale fishers in India
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsAnabel NJ, Velvizhi S., Suvitha D.
Other Numbers10.1007/s40012-018-0212-1
KeywordsMobile application; Fisher Friend; Small scale fisheries; Information communication technology (ICT); Tamil Nadu; Puducherry ; Fisherfolk; Risk reduction

The development of technology and needs of fishing community in the post tsunami context in India
created a demand for the development of mobile applications for fisherfolk. The Fisher Friend Mobile Application (Fisher Friend) was introduced in Binary runtime environment for wireless platform for CDMA in three languages to fishermen in two states in 2007. It has now evolved into an android application with a desirable user interface in nine languages covering fisherfolk in coastal India. A participatory approach involving the fishing community and other key stakeholders was followed at every stage in the development of fisher friend and has been central to its evolution and reach as a decision support system, and its user-friendliness besides accuracy of the information. A total of 1026 fisherfolk across three states
Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh participated in the pilot phase. The critical feedback from users in the last four years enabled the existing Fisher Friend to evolve through 40 revisions as a Pan-India application. Fisher Friend is now available with the latest technology interface in the Google play store. Currently over 29,000 fisher folk are accessing Fisher Friend from 576 landing centers of 59 coastal districts in nine states of India. A study undertaken among users in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry revealed that 90 percent of fisherfolk found it an important tool for decision-making in times of critical situation as well as in normal times for informed fishing. The use of the app has resulted in reduction of risk from livelihood asset loss in the event of disaster, increased income per trip, resource saving of fuel, and reduced number of fishing days per trip.

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