The Fish hub
Our starting point for developing this new platform was to listening to what fishermen needed most. They told us they needed easier ways to track and analyze the facts about their catch, and ways to share information with fisheries managers, since those are basic requirements in a quota system.
But they also saw other opportunities in having better systems for slicing and dicing their data. For example, couldn't some of the information we pulled together be used to communicate better with the marketplace? And what about enabling individual fishermen to go back into the data they share with regulators to do private number-crunching for their own business planning?
Creating an online system that could do all that appealed to us all as a way to enable fishermen to fully participate in doing business in a catch-shares world.
We found some excellent collaborators to help us tackle the challenge of creating a great tool. And we set the ambitious goal of building a system that would work not only for our fishermen and but also for those working in other fishing communities. We worked with The Nature Conservancy in California, and Amplifier Strategies, who had the technical know-how to make our vision real.
Fish hub 1.0 was released to the Cape Cod fishing community at the end of 2012. We are still learning as the platform evolves, but so far 23 fishermen have opened accounts on the Cape Cod Fish hub, including 16 who used the site to complete this year’s application for the Trust's scallop leasing program.
Here's a quick tour the Fish hub.
Community Sites are a place where anyone can view basic information about each fishing community. Cape Cod has its own site and California is creating a separate community site within the Hub. Other communities can come on board later.
The Knowledge Center was built with the Cape Cod Community Development Partnership as a place to share best practices from their scallop quota leasing program. This part of the Fish hub is also open to the public.
The Wheelhouse is a members-only space where fishermen can access their private NOAA account data, exchange messages with other members, discuss problems and solutions, and manage their marketing pages.
Boat Plan is a members-only application for managing business activities associated with running a commercial fishing business—from harvest plans, to business plans, to financial information.