Talking the talk with Fish Talk

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has developed a free app to help fisheries officers across the Pacific break down the language barrier during at-sea and in-port inspections of foreign fishing vessels.

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global problem. Increasingly, countries are working together through memberships in regional fisheries management organisations to protect fish stocks that migrate or straddle multiple exclusive economic zones and the high seas.

Managing these fish stocks requires international collaboration and cooperation. AFMA works closely with its regional neighbours to sustainably manage migratory fish stocks and deter IUU fishing.

The Fish Talk app is an innovative tool designed by fisheries officers for fisheries officers to break down language barriers while inspecting foreign fishing vessels.

Good two-way communication between a fisheries officer and the master and crew of a fishing vessel is crucial to a successful boarding and inspection. The Fish Talk app supports the exchange of information by providing translations of key English phrases commonly used by fisheries officers into written and spoken Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Spanish. The app works offline and includes technical diagrams and reference images to support the user.

Wez Norris, CEO of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, was pleased with how quickly Fish Talk was being adopted. “Fish Talk is a great initiative by AFMA to support fisheries officers in their work, and in turn help them have really successful communications with the crews on vessels”.

“It is a fantastic tool for any fisheries officer’s kit, I encourage fisheries officers from the Pacific, and all around the world, to download Fish Talk and give it a try.”

“I am confident that Fish Talk will lead to safer, more thorough inspections, enhancing the ability to detect illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing”, said Mr Norris.

Funding for Fish Talk was provided by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a part of a project to tackle IUU fishing in the Pacific.

Fish Talk is available to download for free from Google Play and the App Store.

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