News about the newly launched Abalobi App makes this article worth sharing with your favourite restaurant
On the 5th of June every year, World Environmental Day is the United Nation’s principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Now there is more than one reason to celebrate: the launch of the Abalobi App which gives high-tech to artisanal fisherman along the Cape’s West Coast, helping them to make a sustainable living.
Subsistence fisherman on the West Coast Way celebrate World Environmental Day with Abalobi app.
From the Cape’s marine environment perspective, it’s now ‘business unusual’, as an innovative smartphone app called Abalobi is disrupting traditional supply chain systems and changing the lives of artisanal fisherman along the Cape’s West Coast. These fishermen, who mostly live hand-to-mouth with families to feed and bills to pay, can now completely bypass the middlemen and sell directly to chefs, including those at some of the Cape’s top restaurants.
In days now gladly gone by, it was the buyers who determined the price of the fish they wanted. And the bigger the catch, the lower the price they paid. In addition, these fishermen were largely marginalised when it came to quotas, fish stocks and negotiating with fishery authorities.
The Abalobi suite of Apps, which includes the Market Place App, has changed all that. It was developed for fishermen with fishermen, as most of them have years of invaluable on-hand experience. The app acts as a fisherman’s easy-to-use paperless logbook and, with a few clicks, can collect all relevant data on their catches, stocks and quotas. As importantly, it enables them to post their catch straight onto the Abalobi marketplace – which connects them directly to restaurants, so the fishermen get a fair price, paid directly into their pockets.
From an environmental perspective, the fishermen are also putting way less pressure on overfished species and focusing on the more abundant and sustainable, yet lesser known ones, which are in fact just as tasty, such as Cape Bream. The app also lets the buyer (and eater) know exactly who caught their fish, where and when.
Daniel Smith, co-ordinator of The Crayfish Trails Company and is also the Technical Assistant with Abalobi explains that Abalobi is a suite of apps, which includes The Maket Place App which is currently being spoken about and which featured on Carte Blanche.
Daniel goes on to say: “I believe that the Abalobi App is important because it is bringing small scale, artisanal fishers into the conversation in a way that has never been done before. These individuals who have been overlooked and previously excluded are now able to collect and share their data by selling ‘fish with a story’ which is fully traceable: ‘from hook to cook’. I believe that we need to engage with these fishermen and their story and have a more informed understanding of their situation and reality. As the organizer of The Crayfish Trail I facilitate a conversation between guests on our trail and the Abalobi fishermen. This is an incredible experience where guests hear from the fishermen themselves about their story and the workings of Abalobi. Let the conversation about distributional justice really begin.”
Why not discover and enjoy some of the Cape’s most spectacular and sustainable seafood on the West Coast Way Wild Route’s Sustainable Seafood Track? Guided tours available with the Crayfish Trails Company.
The Crayfish Trail Company is located on the West Coast Way Wild Route to Wild Route’s Sustainable Seafood Track
West Coast Way is South Africa’s road trip with the most twists. Explore a unique collection of 101 road trip stops along themed routes by planning a self drive trip or guided tour for a nature and adventure-filled Cape West Coast vacation. The new West Coast Way “basket” of free routes on offer include the West Coast Way Tractor Route, the West Coast Way Berg Route, the West Coast Way Foodie Route, the West Coast Way Cultural Route, the West Coast Way Wild Route – as well as the newly launched Cape Way Route – all of which are designed to showcase the many attractions and activities that are already on offer on the Cape West Coast and inland areas – but may be unknown to many.
For more information on West Coast Way, the other routes on offer, and the list of 101 Things to Do on the West Coast visit www.westcoastway.co.za o