A database based information system for artisanal fisheries management : a case study of Moma-Angoche in Mozambique
Vales, Maria Eulália.
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Sound management of information and data is an essential cornerstone for efficient and effective decision making. Structured, up to date and easily retrievable data from several heterogeneous sources is often required to effectively manage, monitor and predict resource quantities particularly for depleting resources such as fish. The documentation and management of fisheries data in most developing countries however poses great challenges. The main aim of this study therefore is to design an information system (IS) for Artisanal Fisheries management. The developed IS is supported by a database. Secondary data, from the provincial offices of Moma and Angoche in Mozambique, is used to test and populate the prototype database. The manner in which the database is developed demonstrates how in practice a database can be created as part of an information system. However, due to time restrictions, a complete database for the AF system could not be developed. To accomplish the objectives of the study, a model of the Artisanal Fisheries (AF) system was developed first. Based on standard system development approaches, the key components of the AF system that include; processes, data flows and data stores, were identified. The developed conceptual system was then used to identify critical data stores for the AF system and data models were subsequently developed. A prototype database to support the AF system was then implemented in MS Access. The motivation for this study is as a result of two observations made on information management which are a challenge in artisanal fisheries management in Moma-Angoche. These observations are; (i) the current information system lacks a structured approach and a database to document and archive data/information on the artisanal fisheries subsector; and, (ii) the high proportion of the data/information collected from different sources is not well processed, analyzed and is not user-friendly as yet. The Moma-Angoche Provincial Fisheries office was chosen because it is strategically suitable for research. This has been demonstrated by the amount of socio-economic artisanal fishing census data already collected and by the research on stock marine resources already carried out. As a result, the study area has become a pilot zone of integrated fisheries development projects. During the life cycle of the various projects, and even after their termination, the area remained an important zone where subsequent studies (for example baseline studies) were carried out. Furthermore, the existence of subsequent data available from those studies allows a good opportunity for data comparisons to be made.
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