Community meetings in connection with Phase 2 of the Fisheries Data Collection Working Group (FDCWG) were held in November, 2021, in five towns along the Somali coast where fish catch data will be collected: Hobyo, Adale, Mogadishu, Merca, and Kismayo. The purpose of the meetings was to obtain the continued support and cooperation of the communities for the national catch data collection after Phase 1 which concluded in October, 2020. The meetings opened a dialogue among participants which included key leaders, community representatives, and the data collectors from their respective federal member state ministries. Leaders and Secure Fisheries briefed the communities on the upcoming work plan with the goal of building trust and understanding among the stakeholders. Participants discussed the benefits of data collection and its importance as the basis for better fisheries management.
An additional goal of the meetings was to introduce an electronic application that the teams will be using while in the field. The application allows data to be recorded through a web form on a phone or tablet and submitted directly to a database, making the process much easier and more reliable than paper forms with manual data entry. The system makes the data more easily accessible to decision-makers and the communities.