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Fisher-friendly mobile application in India

06 May 2011

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Fisher Friend Mobile Advisory (FFMA) application in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu offers fishing related vital information to fisher folk through mobiles for a safer and more profitable venture into the sea.

Fisher-friendly mobile application in India
Image credits: Nicole Anand/ FFMA provides vital livelihood information to fisherfolk

The 2004 Tsunami brought to the forefront the plight of the fisher community in India – a sector that has long been neglected from mainstream policy. The natural disaster revealed the lack of access to fishing-related information which adversely affects the livelihoods of fisher folk, often putting them at great risks.

Fisher folk use traditional techniques to predict weather and wave conditions. Information within the communities typically travels through word of mouth.

The Fisher Friend Mobile Advisory (FFMA) application by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in collaboration with telecom and software companies uses mobile technology to bridge this information gap.

This is enabling fishing communities to pursue their livelihoods in a safe and proactive manner.

Fishermen can access weather forecasts, emergency contacts, fishing zones and market prices.

The application enables a system of information flows whereby fishermen can gain access to fishing related information such as weather forecasts, emergency contact information, details of high potential fishing zones (PFZ) and market prices so as to enhance their productivity and ensure their safety.

Upon sending a single-button-click request from an icon-based software application on their mobile phone, fishermen access vital updates on wave height, wind speed and direction, potential fishing zones, news alerts, government schemes and latest market prices in their local language (Tamil). 

This unique application is helping fisher folk make better choices - to avoid hazardous situations and increase their incomes through efficient fishery. In other words, it is enabling them to conduct their livelihood operations in a safe and profitable manner.

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