Telecenter to help fisherfolk prevent fish kill launched

Posted on February 8, 2011

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I went to San Pablo City in Laguna last January 31, 2011 to cover the launching of a telecenter that will help fisherfolk prevent fish kill. This is one of the most enjoyable coverages I ever did for work. I like it so much that I’m re-posting it here, from the Ateneo Website.

This article can originally be found at: http://ateneo.edu/index.php?p=120&type=2&sec=29&aid=9538

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Telecenter to help fisherfolk prevent fish kill launched

date posted: 2011-02-03 11:28:59
By Michelle Camille Correa

For fisherfolk,  increasing incidents of fish kill is a socio-economic issue that threatens their livelihood.  But soon, fish kill can be prevented in the Philippines through an internet communication technology that can warn fisherfolk when fish kill will occur, thus helping them harvest fish on time.

On January 31, 2011, Ateneo de Manila University, together with the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) and partners from Japan and Thailand, launched the Asia Pacific Telecommunity SHARE Project dubbed “A Broadband Farm to Market Ecosystem for Fisherfolk Communities”.

The project, with its pilot location at Lake Palacpacin in San Pablo City, Laguna, aims to warn fisherfolk about the gradation of water quality to prevent fish kill.

According to CICT Commissioner Francisco S. Perez II, the process starts by measuring the lake’s oxygen levels through the instruments set up around the lake. The servers were donated by the project’s Japanese and Thai partners.

Farmers also play a crucial role in data gathering by inputting information through an interactive blog such as their catch of the day, be it tilapia, prawns, shrimp or some other seafood, as well as the condition of the lake as they see it.

The data collected by the servers and the information provided by the farmers are then transmitted for analysis and interpretation by experts at the Ateneo de Manila and its partners through broadband internet connection. After which, information is disseminated to fisherfolk in easy to understand language. An early warning will hopefully help them cope with the occurrence of fish kill.

If successfully implemented at Lake Palacpacin, the project may be replicated in other parts of the Philippines.

The challenges, according to Commissioner Perez, is in helping the community understand the process and importance of the project, gathering ample resources for implementation, overcoming time constraints, and ensuring the project’s sustainability.

Next steps
Ateneo students set up the floating server which collects information on water quality at Lake Palacpacin in San Pablo City, Laguna.

 

Ateneo School of Science and Engineering students Michael del Rosario, Gerald Mateo, Mae Villanueva and Chris Favila demonstrated to Japanese and Thai partners, fisherfolk, government representatives and other stakeholders the future website to be used by fisherfolk in providing data about the lake. The website, a work in progress, contains photos of the project development, data from the servers about the lake, videos of interviews with locals, and other information about the project.

The students also gave a demonstration on one of the site’s main features—an interactive blog that fisherfolk will use in providing information about the lake. Through the blog, they will be able to post their catch of the day as well as the condition of the lake.

Soon, fisherfolk will be trained on how to use computers, the internet and the website and eventually make the website fully operational.

Thankful

 

For Fernando Espallardo, a consultant of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Council (FARMC), the project is making fisherfolk’s dream of preventing fishkill a reality.

Meanwhile, Dr. Yuji Inoue, Executive Adviser at the Telecommunications Technology Committee in Japan, expressed commitment in improving people’s lives by introducing I.T. to rural communities. “This is just the beginning. We’re very happy to work with all of you,” he said.

Francisco S. Perez II, Commissioner of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), Mr. Maida of Asia Pacific Telecommunity and Edison Y. Jaramillo, head of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Council (FARM-C). Dr. Nathaniel Libatique, Department Chair of the Electronics, Computer, and Communications Engineering Department of Ateneo de Manila University and Mr. Maida of the Asia Pacific Telecommunity.

 

The Asia Pacific Telecommunity SHARE Project is a partnership between Ateneo de Manila University, Manila Observatory, Japan Radio Company, Tokyo University, CICT, PDLT, Smart, Department of Science and Technology, Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO), National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEL), Telecommunications Technology Committee, and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation.

Photos by Iya Regalario

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