The Artisanal Fisheries Unit of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) has teamed up with the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Unit to train Fisheries Officers and Enumerators nationwide on how to use the Canoe Registration Mobile App to collect data from canoe owners. The exercise started 2nd June at Tombo, and later to other places like- Goderich, Konakri Dee, Kambia, Bonthe, Shenge, Gbondapi and Sulima, spending a day at each station.
In 2020, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources collaborated with Amsoft Technology to develop mobile app for electronic canoe registration. After series of underground work, the application was finally developed and ready for use.
According to Senior Fisheries Officer Alhaji Daboh, who also served as team leader, noted that when enumerators were using printed forms to collect data, some of the forms got missing, wrong data entry, wet and damaged during the process while some unscrupulous Enumerators sit at home and fill in wrong information to the ministry, among others. He said, in a bid to address this situation, the ministry decided to navigate from analog to digital or electronic canoe registration, to enhance accuracy and efficiency in data collection process, as the application gives opportunity to edit mistakes before submission.
He likened the canoe registration process by the ministry to the national census organized periodically by government. He said data collected during the canoe registration process, will serve as a reference point for the ministry to make informed management decisions, provide accurate statistics for researchers, investors and will also provide inventory of items in the fishing vessels and proffer accurate information about the crafts in the event of an accident.
He called on enumerators to work with the Outstation Fisheries Officers and take the exercise seriously in order to make it a successful. He also encouraged them to engage the ministry’s ICT department for any questions, concerns or clarifications.
MFMR Information and Communication Unit headed by Milton Jusu who has been playing a pivotal role in the development of the ‘Canoe Registration’ Mobile Application, shared his expertise with participants across the country, during the course of the training.
In his presentations, he spoke about the special technological features embedded in the Canoe Registration application, noting that upon selecting the district and chiefdom of the registration area, the application will automatically generate an Identification Number, which should be written on the canoe and serves as the registration canoe ID of the boat.
He also spoke about the GPS coordinate captured in the application, which he said, unlike the printed forms formerly used to collet data in the canoe registration process, the GPS coordinate in the mobile application, can locate where the data is been collected, and make provision for ICT staff at the ministry to monitor workers in the field to ensure work is done accordingly.
He called on enumerators to complete the mobile application registration forms correctly, adding that if the forms are not properly filled they will face difficulties in saving the data at the end of the exercise.
After the training exercise at Shenge, Bonthe, Gbondapi and Sulima, Phones were distributed to Fisheries officer to aid their work, as they are sometimes constrained by the absence of phones and electricity.