There's a New App for Filipino Fishermen for Sustainable Fishing

The app will incentivize fisherfolk to share catch data.

Everybody knows that the Philippines is a top source of the world’s most expensive fish, such as the highly prized yellowfin tuna, and yet, Filipino fisher folk remain among the poorest in the world despite their precious catch. A new app wants to change that.

Tracey is an app designed for Filipino fisherfolk so they can trace, document, verify, and share their catch data. The app was announced today by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Philippines and Unionbank, in partnership with Finnish consulting firm TX and open source project Streamr.

How It Works

Filipino fisherfolk need access to microloans that can support other business ventures, but they are often perceived as too much of a risk for banks because of the nature of their livelihood. Historically, many fisherfolk are unbanked, and their seasonal profession means that two out of five fishers in the Philippines live below the poverty line, according to WWF.

Tracey works by incentivizing Filipino fisherfolk when they share their catch data, which can then be used by various financial institutions such as Unionbank when they conduct credit assessments for providing microloans to fisherfolk.

“The innovative and disruptive collaboration between WWF, TX and Unionbank will mean fisherfolk will get remunerated for the catch data they provide. This will also enable more open access to microfinance at market prices, managing risk based on fishers' track records of accurate catch and trade data,” said Susan Roxas, fisheries and finance lead for WWF's Coral Triangle Program.

“This creates possibilities for a more equitable distribution of supply chain benefits, through measures that prevent Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and ensure sustainable production,” she adds.


Apart from this, fisherfolk are incentivized to share sensitive catch while they also profit from being able to import their catch to the E.U. and the U.S. due to better tracking data.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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