/ 28 June 2021

A MARINE scientist from the Silliman University recently trained fishermen in South Negros on how to conduct their own fish surveys using an application.

Dr. Rene Abesamis of SU Angelo King Center for Research and Environmental Management taught the fishermen how they can independently monitor marine protected areas and manage fish resources through the MPA-FishMApp, a web-based application designed to help citizen scientists to easily capture, store and visualize fish census data.

Abesamis partnered with a team from the Center for Informatics at the University of San Agustin-Iloilo to develop the application with support from the Australia Alumni Awards and Engagement Program of the Australian Embassy.

“The training aims to help develop the capacity of local stakeholders, such as leaders of fishing communities, to conduct their own fish surveys. This allows fish density and biomass in an MPA to be monitored regularly and helps check if an MPA is still effective in promoting the recovery of the fish population,” SU said.

“Training local stakeholders in building their capacity to implement the ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM) is a core strategy of the USAID-BFAR Fish Right Program,” it added.

SU said the application is still in the field-testing phase. It will be available for wider use in August 2021.