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Fishermen Identification Database System (FIDS) in Somalia

Fishermen Identification Database System (FIDS) in Somalia

Full title of the project:

Fishermen Identification Database System (FIDS)

Target areas:


USD 400 000
Project code:

To provide a specific biometrics-based fishermen database system for the Puntland Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (SMoFMR) to increase knowledge of fisheries activities and fishing efforts and support monitoring control and surveillance of fisheries resources.

Key partners:

The Puntland SMoFMR.

Beneficiaries reached:

4 468 fishermen benefited from registration, seven SMoFMR staff and 18 fishers’ association representatives from training.

Activities implemented:
  • Developed a specific database system for the identification of fisherfolk for SMoFMR.
  • Trained seven SMoFMR on the use of the biometrics database system and provided them with equipment, including fingerprint readers, card printers and tablets.
  • Provided the Puntland SMoFMR with two four-wheel drive vehicles and the use of a hired boat to support project registration and monitoring activities.
  • Provided 18 fishers’ association representatives with training on basic IT skills and community mobilization to sensitize fisherfolk to registering.
  • Conducted mass radio campaigns prior to and during registration activities.
  • Registered 4 468 fishers, providing them with identification cards, and fitted 1 470 vessels with two number plates each to enhance visibility.
  • Raised awareness through a formal launch on board a European Union Naval Force Somalia vessel with the
  • Puntland President, European Union Ambassador and FAO Representative.
  • Exported and backed up the database periodically to FAO servers to minimize risk of lost data.
  • Supported analysis of collected data, providing information on fishing and vessel ownership patterns, seasonality, carriage of ice and main markets for fish.
  • Monitored activities through the FAO Call Centre and the review of photographs with embedded GPS coordinates to ensure activities were implemented as reported.
  • Enabled anti-piracy forces capacity to distinguish legitimate fishing from piracy activities through the availability of registration information.
  • Reduced interruption of fishing activities through visible identification (i.e. boat number plates), thereby increasing fisheries productivity.
  • Enhanced security of fisherfolk at sea owing to increased recognition as legitimate fishers.
  • Contributed to the adoption of similar registration exercises in Somaliland, Galmudug and Juba from the success of the project.
  • Informed a much larger coastal livelihoods project from the data collected (e.g. fishing trends and important markets).