Emerging Information and Communication Technologies for Monitoring India’s Marine Small-Scale Fisheries, Opportunities for Inclusion, Risks of Exclusion

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  • ALEXANDER TILLEY WorldFish, Bayan Lepas - 11960, Penang, Malaysia
  • ANDREW M. SONG Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, NSW - 2007, Australia
  • AJIT MENON Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai - 600 020, India
  • PHILIPPA J. COHEN WorldFish, Bayan Lepas - 11960, Penang, Malaysia
  • MARIANNE MANUEL Dakshin Foundation, Bengaluru - 560 092, India



Apps, Digital, Exclusive economic zone, ICTs, ICT4SSF, Illegal fishing, IUU fishing, MCS, National security, Tracking, VMS


Adaptive, inclusive and effective management of fisheries resources is dependent on knowledge from multiple quantitative and qualitative sources. As technology advances, there is an increasing interest in digital and automated solutions for gathering fisheries data. Small-scale fisheries (SSF) have presented a persistent challenge to many centralized quantitative data collection systems, and
frequently maintain the status of ‘unreported’. This unreported nature often implicates SSF in the definition and discussions of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Monitoring, control and surveillance are seen as a vital part of the solution to IUU fishing, with substantial investment being put into increasingly sophisticated technology for tracking fishing vessels. For the past few years, India has been attempting to pass legislation to require all vessels, from small-scale to industrial, to install vessel monitoring systems on the grounds of national security and combating IUU fishing. However, there are concerns that a securitized and top-down approach to implement vessel tracking is not only wasteful but risks further marginalization of small-scale fishers from the resource, and fisheries groups from governance processes. India should seek to solve the underlying causes of IUU fishing while also developing collaborative monitoring and community-based management models. In this paper, we review evidence of emerging information and communication technologies and approaches in SSF and discuss how, if introduced and managed through collaborative processes, they could be used as a platform to strengthen inclusive governance, increase sustainability and improve wellbeing in coastal fisheries in India.


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How to Cite

TILLEY, A., SONG, A. M., MENON, A., COHEN, P. J., & MANUEL, M. (2021). Emerging Information and Communication Technologies for Monitoring India’s Marine Small-Scale Fisheries, Opportunities for Inclusion, Risks of Exclusion. Journal of the Indian Society of Coastal Agricultural Research, 39(2), 80-94. https://doi.org/10.54894/JISCAR.39.2.2021.112131