Sustainable fishing for Tauranga fishers

Trustee Chris Falconer. Supplied image.

Tauranga fishers will be able to experience New Zealand’s only free recreational fishing app, Fish4All, at its showcase this weekend during the Tauranga Fishing and Boat Show.

Developed by recreational fishers, for recreational fishers, Fish4All is a handy App for logging catch, comparing stats, snapping and sharing shots and a great tool for running competitions – and it’s available in six  languages; English, Te Reo Māori, Samoan, Mandarin, Tagalog (Filipino) and Hindi.

The team behind the app will be at this weekend's Fishing and Boating show, helping local fishers learn how to use the simple and fun tool which aims to support recreational fishing interests.

Trustee Chris Falconer, a Waikato dairy farmer and lifelong fishing enthusiast, who’ll be at the show, says it enables recreational fishers to become co-managers of the fishery.

“I love it and use it religiously. It’s given me a much better understanding of my fishing take over the year, where I’ve been, what I’ve caught and where I want to go next and what species I target.

“But, for me it’s about the Kaupapa of the App, to build more data enabling recreational fishers to take a seat at the management table along alongside commercial and customary fishers."

He says it’s also powerful sustainability tool, collating anonymous catch data, which the Fish4All Charitable Trust controls and will use to enhance recreational fisheries management and representation.

The data is collected anonymously through encrypted software and only at a regional or sub-regional level, so no hotspots are given away.

“Fish4All is not about telling tales it’s about contributing to how the fishery is managed. And the more fishers who use it the stronger the data can be.”

Fish4All is seeking investment and partners to take the App to the next level by adding a swag of new features that have been suggested through user feedback,  to create the ‘Fisho’s Best Mate’.

Ideas include recognition software technology for instant species identification and measurement and which would mean that  fish caught during a competition can be put back with a chance of growing for next year.

Users also want to see customised safety auto-prompts, access to best online bait and gear offers, best local fuel offers, real-time competition updates and entries, and boat uber (find a boat, find a crew). 

“Fish4All currently runs an annual best fishing experience photo competition in conjunction with the Bay Fisher Magazine that has proven hugely popular. The recognition software would enable real-time competition systems so anyone can set up a competition, snap their catch and enter it, and in real-time see what others are doing through leader board updates.

“It will hugely simplify competition administration, and speed up results collation and prize giving.”

Chris says Fish4All will be inviting investors and trustees to come on board at the Fishing and Boating Show, to help take the App to the next stage.

Fish4All uses a social enterprise model, operating with a commercial arm Fish4All Ltd and a charitable arm, the Fish4All Charitable Trust – which is exclusive data owner and manager.

Fish4All Ltd partner Katherine Short says that means both commercial and charitable arms of Fish4all can access different funding options that generate income to support recreational fishing interests.

“The Trust can utilise the funds for education outreach and research and data analysis, which is so crucial for ensuring we can better contribute to managing our precious inshore fisheries.

“The Trust is made up of everyday Kiwi fishing enthusiasts who care deeply for our fisheries so it’s really in the right hands.”


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