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AbstractIn 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, small-scale fishers convened from around the world as part of a global mobilization effort to obtain equal access to marine resources (MDT et al., 2014). Two years later, these same fishers, with support from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), began to petition the South African Government. Their efforts led to a new human rights-based policy, gazetted in 2012, and currently being implemented. The policy aims to recognize the small-scale fisheries sector and provide legal recognition to this subgroup of fishers (South Africa, 2012). While the policy, which required an amendment of the Marine Living Resources Act, is being implemented in South Africa, many lower-income and historically marginalized communities are still not able to access marine resources fully or derive the maximum benefits from any access they have (Saunders et al., 2016). These groups are either unaware of their legal rights or remain excluded from market access because of prevailing value chain power dynamics, their low reading proficiency and post-harvest technical skills. Post-harvest refers to all activities after a fish is landed, from cleaning to preservation and marketing. The ABALOBI programme, launched in South Africa in 2015, recognizes that inclusive technologies can have positive implications for transforming the societal and economic inequality that is common among historically underserved groups within South Africa. ABALOBI1 is a suite of mobile apps co-designed by multiple South African stakeholders to be an information management system for the small-scale fisheries sector. The service provides an open-source platform to strengthen market participation of local fishers and to record catch data and promote fisheries- related data monitoring, resulting in transparent and traceable data relevant to the sector. After a successful pilot between July 2015 and June 2017 in three different fisher communities, assessment of a small-scale deployment in the Northern and Western Cape provinces, and now a growing user-base across South Africa, the Minister of Fisheries has endorsed the platform – and supports its growth in the country – to become the official catch management system for the small-scale fisheries sector. With an emphasis on usability among low-literate and low-skilled fishers, ABALOBI has served as a catalyst for cross- sector livelihood development among underserved communities in rural South Africa.
Publisher or UniversityUNESCO and Pearson
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