Over 30 Tuvalu observers were trained in electronic-reporting (e-reporting) utilizing the iFIMS Observer app on tablets last week. Herman Kisokau, a staff member of the iFIMS Inc. from PNG, led the zoom training. The zoom session lasted the full week.
Currently, Tuvalu observers use paper worksheets to gather their data while onboard at work. Their reports can run into hundreds of pages, and it can be difficult to get new workbooks when onboard for a long trip. A tablet can store thousands of pages of data, and these can be downloaded into a database without being scanned and re-typed by office staff.
In response to COVID-19 and containment, which has seen all observers stay onshore, the Tuvalu Department of Fisheries is taking advantage of the opportunity to train observers who have not been trained in this area. This will upgrade their knowledge of how to use this new technology to collect data, instead of utilizing the work book.
Gagati Falaima, Acting Fisheries Observer Coordinator, said: “Once these observers have learned how to use this new app with tablets, they will travel three or four times on their next trip. Any data they collect will be saved on those tablets and used instead of having a workbook.”
This is a great opportunity for Tuvalu observers as they are all present and in the country. These e-reports will enhance their work with this cutting-edge technology, saving paper and time. Observers under the PNA program who use e-reporting will also be paid a small bonus.