This Small Research Activity will deliver a bilingual web-based tool to improve fish identification and fisheries monitoring. This will benefit Indonesia, but also has a wider South-east Asian application.
ACIAR Project FIS/2009/059 identified a need for a resource to help enumerators to confidently identify fish that are not fresh.
All fishery monitoring programs need to accurately identify fish. Fisheries assessments routinely rely on fish catch data recorded by port-based enumerators and/or on-board observers. Data that is flawed as a result of incorrectly identifying fish species can make assessments unreliable. The tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, Indian Ocean Tuna Commission and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission believe improving enumerators and observers’ fish identification skills is a priority for Indonesia and other countries in their respective jurisdictions. Training workshops in Indonesia revealed that government-employed enumerators and local fisheries staff cannot adequately identify many important pelagic species. The Harvest Strategy development process for Indonesia’s tuna fisheries has highlighted the increasing importance of addressing this situation.
This project will include supplementary information, by species, making it useful to other lines of fisheries research.
Overall this project is on track. The development of the fishIDER (fish Identification Database and Education Resource) website has progressed well, since commencement of activity in mid-January 2017. As detailed below in Section 2, the collation of materials (images, text for the various pages within the website, development of species keys, development of interactive ‘games’), and designs of concept pages for the website is well advanced. This good progress is largely due to the excellent work of Helen O’Neill who was recruited to the project in late February as our web content analyst.
The project is very close to achieving translation of our concept designs through to a fully operational ‘first draft’ of a WordPress website, which will be housed, at least initially, on the CSIRO server, under guidance and management of CSIRO Information Management and Technology (IM&T) - an in kind contribution from CSIRO. See Appendix 1 for the basic design concept for the website as a whole and Appendix 2 for a graphic illustrating the draft design of the homepage.
At time of writing this report, a customised WordPress template was approaching completion, designed by Hobart-based website developer, Mr Nicholas Dewey. We contracted Mr Dewey on a casual basis to provide technical assistance in achieving the translation from our concepts to an operational WordPress site. We anticipate Helen being able to begin the ‘populating’ of the website with the highest priority species (tunas, other Scombridae, billfish, and sharks) by end of July.
After ‘road-testing’ the website and after canvassing comments from scientific peers, we will begin arrangements for a scientist from our project partner institute (Centre for Fisheries Research, Jakarta) to come to Hobart for training on how to assist with adding materials, editing the website, and most importantly, progressing the Bahasa Indonesia version of all website content.
The timing of official launch of the website (for public, open access) will largely depend on completion of populating the website with sufficient species, achieving the Bahasa Indonesia version, inclusion of some interactive learning features, and ‘ironing out’ any teething problems. The stage of launch may not be reached until late September or late October, but there is universal agreement among the project team that we should not go to launch until we have achieved all of the aforementioned.