Happy Fish = Happy People in the Solomon Islands

Written by on April 18, 2014 in Editor's Choice, Fish, Technology

We’ve written about Point 97 (that’s nine seven!) before — it’s a high-tech company that provides highly customizable technology solutions for coastal and marine planning around the world — but we’re happy to share some exciting news! One of their projects, Hapi Fis, Hapi Pipol, was recently awarded the Pioneers Prize, offered for the first time this year by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), “for using science and technology to solve development challenges.”

The Hapi Fis Hapi Pipol app.

Hapi Fis Hapi Pipol app. The Point 97 technology can be easily customized to meet data collection and visualization needs of any country or industry sector. Photograph courtesy of Point 97.

Hapi Fis, Hapi Pipol (Happy Fish, Happy People) is a mobile app and web-based platform that works with the basic technological infrastructure and centralized fish markets in the Solomon Islands to collect biological, economic, and social data on the local fisheries.

“This innovative mobile application shows how technology can dramatically improve how governments collect and make informed decisions based on information from their citizens — even those in remote locations,” Michael Yates, Director of USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia, said in a news release.

MST recently spoke with Point 97 CEO Ruby Gates about Hapi Fis, Hapi Pipol, the Pioneers Prize, and future project.

She explains that there really was no data collection system in the Solomon Islands prior to the partnership with Point 97. Now, data is being collected on a daily basis.

A surveyor interviewing a vendor in the Honiara Central Market using the Hapi Fis, Hapi Pipol mobile app. Photograph courtesy of Tim Welch/Point 97.

A surveyor interviewing a vendor in the Honiara Central Market using the Hapi Fis, Hapi Pipol mobile app. Photograph courtesy of Tim Welch/Point 97.

Surveyors visit the fish markets to collect data on the fish being sold, including species, price, location and more. They record the information using the Hapi Fis app and the data gets automatically analyzed, making it possible (and very easy) for government officials to analyze long-term trends in fisheries data and better protect the country’s fisheries resources.

The USAID funding for Hapi Fis is ending, but Ruby explains that Point 97 provides all the training locals need to be able to create and manage the surveys so they will be able to continue without direct support. The user-friendly technology is also highly customizable so it can be edited to suit changing needs.

In a news release, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Permanent Secretary Dr. Christian Ramofafia said “The use of mobile phones to collect information in this way is a new approach… But at the end of the day it is important to have correct information to manage resources.”

To learn more, visit the Point 97 website. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Fishing boats anchored at shore in the afternoon sun in Gizo, Solomon Islands. Photograph courtesy of Point 97.

Fishing boats anchored at shore in the afternoon sun in Gizo, Solomon Islands. Photograph courtesy of Point 97.

Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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