World Aquaculture 2023

May 29 - June 1, 2023

Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia


Miguel B. Gaspar*, André N. Carvalho, Fábio Pereira, David Piló, Paulo Vasconcelos

*IPMA – Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere, I.P. (IPMA)

Av. 5 de Outubro S/n

8700-305, Olhão, Portugal


Small scale fisheries (SSF) have a strong representation in Portugal, encompassing more than 80% of the fishing fleet. Closely related to SSF, shellfish harvesting is also an ancestral activity that involves more than 3000 fishers. Both activities are very important at social, cultural, economic and environmental levels. Currently, SSF and harvesting face several challenges, especially the competition for using the maritime space with other economic activities, mainly aquaculture. However, and despite the importance of these activities, the deficiency of basic data on SSF and harvesting as well as lack of high-resolution geo-spatial and temporal data which may compromise the protection of their main fishing grounds, preventing them from being occupied by other activities. New information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the advances in mobile phone technology, associated with GPS and the transmitting capacity to the coast, improved data collection, storage, and communication, revolutionizing data acquisition in fisheries. In this context, the present work presents the implementation and use of the mobile application “PescApanha” (Fig. 1) developed with the coordination of IPMA to fill information and data gaps on Portuguese SSF and harvesting activities, information of upmost importance to design a comprehensive Maritime Spatial Planning where all activities should and must coexist. This app was developed to be a lower cost system and to encourage the voluntary participation of professional fishers and harvesters in order to obtain relevant data on their activities. Therefore, this app aims to collect high-resolution geo-spatial data and information related to the fishing gears used and weight of the three main species caught. Overall, the app-generated data allow the estimation and mapping of the spatial-temporal distribution fishing effort per metier. With this information it is possible to identify the main fishing grounds, to promote the long-term sustainable management of SSF and harvesting activities and resources, and to support an integrated and effective management of the maritime space.