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Public Administration News  
NZ Govt Uses App to Engage Fishermen
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Friday, October 07, 2011
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: New Zealand
Created: Oct 10, 2011

In March 2011, the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries initiated Project IKA, with mobile government elements, to protect the natural resources of the ocean and lower the ministry’s printing costs. 

In a nutshell, Project IKA gives fishermen guidelines are what fishes can be caught, and at what sizes so that fish stock remains sustainable and fishermen do not break fishing legislations.

Project IKA has four elements:

  • The development of an automated text messaging system to inform recreational fishers of legal information that can help them fish legally and sustainably
  • The provision of an alert system where fishers can opt-in to receive text messages for rule changes in their fishing area(s)
  • A smart phone app on all platforms for interactive engagement with the ministry including pictures and maps
  • A range of informational videos available through phone apps or Youtube

    “We are using the mobile channel as another avenue to engage with recreational fishers,” explained Channa Jayasinha, CIO of Ministry of Fisheries. “Since the launch of the mobile apps and Youtube videos, there has been a positive uptake of the information provided. We are using these channels as a way of educating recreational fishers.”

    While the apps educate, app users are not required to report their catch, said Jayasinha. Monitoring is done by the ministry through surveys and examining fishing activity on New Zealand’s coastlines.

    Right now, the only form of two-way feedback through the app is feedback submitted on the app through the Android or Apple app store. “In the future, we could establish an email address where recreational fishers could leave us feedback,” said Jayasinha.

    To include fishers who are not on smartphones, the same information on mobile channels and social media are available both on the ministry’s web site and through printed material.

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