Select members of the Pangingisda Natin Gawing Tama (PaNaGaT) Network, including representatives from NGOs for Fisheries Reform (NFR), Institute of Social Order (ISO), and Rare Philippines attended the 2nd Annual World Oceans Summit Asia-Pacific held in Sentosa, Singapore on November 29-30, 2022.
The event featured panel discussions on governance, climate change, finance, supply chains, innovation and technology, shipping, tourism, fishing, and aquaculture. Participants also had the chance to participate in side activities such as a roundtable discussion on ocean policy for Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) and workshops that tackled different issues around transparency in small-scale fisheries.
PaNaGaT representatives attended the three sessions of the Technology and Transparency for Small-Scale Fisheries Workshop, with a number of them presenting recently concluded studies and learning experiences from the ground. These workshop sessions tackled three major themes: data and innovation for fisheries management, data transparency, and the adoption and use of tracking technology. Through the support of Global Fishing Watch and Blue Ventures, Ms. Samantha Poblete (ISO Research Coordinator) presented the results of the recently conducted Technology Readiness Assessment rolled out in 34 coastal communities in the Philippines as part of the third session entitled, “Tracking Technology: Adoption and Use”. Led by the ISO, the main objectives of this study were to identify the communities that were able to meet the fisheries industry standards set aside by the law, and to determine the specific areas for assistance that may be needed by the communities to smoothly implement catch reporting and vessel monitoring. Aside from presenting the results, Ms. Poblete highlighted the value of catch reporting and vessel monitoring, especially in improving fisheries regulation and safeguarding the rights of small-scale fishers to their aquatic resources. She also shared the existing challenges in rolling these out in the Philippine small-scale fisheries sector. Recommendations to encourage adoption and ensure sustainability were presented as well. Her presentation was one of the four case studies that were included in this session, along with presentations from The Nature Conservancy, Rare Indonesia, and National Taiwan Ocean University.
The session aimed to tackle the challenges that come with the development of and promotion to use different tracking technology for fisheries among countries in the Asia- Pacific. It also served as a venue to share the experiences and learnings of NGO practitioners and community partners in rolling out tracking technology systems in their home countries. The workshop activity for the session was a Political-Economic-Social-Technical-Legal-Environmental (PESTLE) Analysis to understand the various factors that contribute to the success and barriers in implementing tracking technologies for small-scale fisheries. The activity was also meant to help identify possible areas where vessel tracking programs may be initiated.
The Philippine case study gave insights on the factors that drive success and put barriers in implementing transparency mechanisms for fisheries in the country. Through the workshop, it was apparent that these wins and challenges are not unique to the Philippines but are also shared by other countries in the Asia-Pacific. The ISO, as part of the PaNaGaT Network, is looking forward to sharing the results of the study to a wider audience, and further refine the tool used to nuance the different conditions our partners and technology end-users, the fisherfolks, are subject to.
The Technology Readiness Assessment was part of the Responsive Policies for Small-Scale Fisherfolk towards Sustainable Industry Project funded by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Southeast Asia, and the Strengthening Local Fisheries Governance for Fisheries Management Areas Project funded by the Philippine Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. The ISO acknowledges the partner NGOs that facilitated the data gathering – NGOs for Fisheries Reform (NFR), Pangingisda Natin Gawing Tama Network (PaNaGaT), Rare Philippines, Sentro Para sa Ikauunlad ng Katutubong Agham at Teknolohiya (SIKAT), Tambuyog Development Center (TDC), and WWF Philippines.