"In addition to motivating the creativity of the students, this initiative aims to empower fishermen so that they can make use of technological tools that help them link issues such as traceability, safety, markets, strategies, marketing and business development."
Irish Humanitarian Aid Agency GOAL has carried out a Hackathon with students and local fishermen in Honduras to create a new app to increase the fishing communities’ productivity and improve incomes.
This event was part of GOAL’s MiPesca Blue Economy programme, which endeavours to help thousands of small-scale artisanal fishermen break into larger markets and reduce local poverty.
The ‘MiPescathon’ brought together dozens of students and teachers from a variety of fields from business to engineering at the Central American Technological University for ten hours. The students worked with small scale fishermen from the north coast of Honduras to understand what areas of their work could be most improved by technology. The hackathon focused on areas such as traceability, administration, market access and communications.
The app will help link the various components of fishing activity and make these small-scale businesses more efficient and competitive. By formalising their industry and streamlining their business activities, MiPesca aims to allow artisanal fishermen to break into the larger national and international markets.
The winning group will present a variety of digital solutions to fishermen at the first meeting of the Fishermen’s Network of the Atlantic Coast of Honduras, which will be held in the city of La Ceiba in April.
Co-ordinator of the MiPesca project in GOAL Honduras, Sayri Molina, said: ‘In addition to motivating the creativity of the students, this initiative aims to empower fishermen so that they can make use of technological tools that help them link issues such as traceability, safety, markets, strategies, marketing and business development.’
Although there are several applications in the field, this initiative, jointly developed by GOAL, the MiPesca Project and the UNITEC entrepreneurship HUB (HUB- UNITEC), seeks to design an app designed specifically for artisanal fishermen of the Atlantic coast of Honduras.
This tool will benefit 26 fishing associations representing more than 3,600 artisanal fishermen. The project seeks to create a generational relay by creating local capacities that will improve the productivity chain of the local fishing industry.
MiPesca is an initiative that has been established with the Government of Honduras, Supermarket Chains, Exporters, Associations and Community Companies of mostly Garífunas and Miskito fishermen. Co-financed by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB | LAB), MiPesca is implemented by the Irish international NGO GOAL, in the departments of Cortés, Atlántida, Colón and Gracias a Dios. This project seeks to contribute to the improvement of the competitiveness of artisanal fishing companies and organizations that ensures a sustainable and responsible economic insertion to the environment while preserving the mangrove ecosystem on which their economy depends, as well as increasing their resilience to climate change.