The CIESM Seabird Program includes a participatory science component, through a collaboration with fishermen. Building alliances with fishermen can be achieved through different actions such as workshops, questionnaires, on-board observations, self-reporting logbooks and mitigation methods trials. It is a process where CIESM has gained much experience in the past decade (see CIESM Workshop n°50 ‘Engaging marine scientists and fishers to share knowledge and perceptions – Early lessons’), in particular through the collection of jellyfish bloom observations made by fishermen for our JellyWatch Program, and by relying on “LEK” (Local Ecological Knowledge) in our Tropical Signals Program.
In this context we have now developed the prototype of a user-friendly application for fishermen so that they can easily share their observation of seabirds at sea, notably aggregations during fishing. They will have the choice to directly take a picture (date, time, latitude and longitude are automatically recorded by the smartphone) or to enter the observation manually.
The next step is to deploy the application in fishermen’s networks across the basin.