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Information School Team App For West African Fishermen Snags Sustainable Fishing Prize

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Fishackathon participants got to sleep over at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

A team of University of California, Berkeley students and alumni won the grand prize of the Fishackathon programming challenge.

Credit: Isha Dandavate

A team of four students and alumni from the University of California, Berkeley's School of Information has won the grand prize of the Fishackathon programming challenge. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the event brought together participants from across the country in a competition to develop creative solutions for the sustainable management of fisheries and the protection of oceans. The teams addressed challenges facing small fisheries such as overfishing, illegal fishing, lack of resources, and the degradation of the marine environment.

The Berkeley team focused on the problems faced by the West Africa Regional Fisheries Program, which is administered by the World Bank, and designed and implemented a mobile-based solution. Called Fish DB, the tool enables fishers to register their boats, obtain fishing licenses, and report any illegal fishing activity. The tool is a browser-based mobile app and a short messaging service-based system that supports both fishers and government staff.

"The challenge of unsustainable fishing is really complex," says Dan Tsai, one of the four students who created the system. "We knew that to make an impact, a solution would have to take into account the social, cultural and political contexts."

From UC Berkeley NewsCenter
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Abstracts Copyright © 2014 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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