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12 Mar, 2013

New App to Help Consumers Choose Fish That’s Not Endangered

Food & Agriculture Organization

12 March 2013, RomeYou want to know more about the fish you are eating or going to buy? Is it maybe an endangered species? AppliFish will tell you. This free mobile application developed by the fisheries and biodiversity knowledge platform i-Marine makes aquatic-related information available to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Photo: ©FAO/Marco Salustro

With AppliFish consumers can choose fish that’s not endangered. Photo: ©FAO/Marco Salustro

While human consumption of fish products has doubled in the last half century, policies for sustainable use of aquatic ecosystems must address the challenges facing global fish stocks. Some 30 percent of the world’s marine fish stocks assessed in 2009 were overexploited, according to FAO’s State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2012.

“With AppliFish, consumers can choose fish that’s not endangered, helping ensure that there will be enough for future generations,” says FAO’s Marc Taconet, Senior Fishery Information Officer and chair of the iMarine board. “Consumers can also use the application to learn more about species, capture levels and habitats, as well as the level of threats faced by these species.”

Informed choices for policy-makers and consumers

iMarine is a global consortium of 13 research institutes, universities and international organizations from three continents with €5  million in funding by the European Union (EU).

Its new application AppliFish also has a web version that contains additional scientific information, which can help policy-makers, producers and consumers make informed decisions, and contribute to shape policies necessary for the responsible management of fisheries and conservation of aquatic resources, as underlined in the  principles laid out in FAO’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

AppliFish adds on to i-Marine’s applications for  managing, processing and visualizing scientific content to increase awareness of the challenges which aquatic ecosystems face.

These applications include the biodiversity mapping tool AquaMaps, the Vessel Transmitted Information Tool (VTI), reporting on vessel activity and environmental conditions for scientists working in fisheries, and the Integrated Capture Information System (ICIS), providing regional and global information on capture of aquatic species.

Over 550 species

AppliFish was awarded a prize at the 10th e-Infrastructure Concertation Meeting to discuss the present and future of the EU’s research and innovation policy, held in Brussels on 6-7 March.

The application is designed as a pocket book of marine knowledge at the touch of a button. It offers basic information of over 550 marine species, such as a common names and sizes, distribution maps, as well as maps featuring expected changes in species distribution caused by climate change.

AppliFish combines data from authoritative, international sources, including FAO-FishFinder, FAO statistics, WoRMS, Fishbase, SeaLifeBase, IUCN, AquaMaps and OBIS, bringing together a wealth of expertise to create a community of practice in support of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management and conservation of marine living resources.

AppliFish is available both for Android and for iOS.