It was the first time I've been to the Philippines on October 2015. I'm going to Olango Islands on a makeshift passenger ferry boat with a friend i've known for a long time. We arrive to Santa Rosa, Philippines from Lapu-Lapu harbor. We hire a taxi driver on a motorcycle who used to be a fisherman in the island. He tells me Olango Island is not a very busy destination for fishing and tourism it once was. Since it's hard to make ends meet, most of his brothers and sisters are leaving for better opportunities at Lapu-Lapu and Cebu City across the harbor. He's the only sibling taking care of his elderly mother.

We stop at the Olango Island Fish Sanctuary. The waters are clear enough to see the reef walking through the mangroves on a floating bridge, but the floating rubbish ruined the experience. The Sanctuary staff takes their time to clean up floating trash at the reef. When we head back to Cebu City, there was more trash floating on the harbor. The visual of seeing a row of fishing vessels anchored on the shore surrounded by floating trash and unclean waters from the river runoffs by the Shantytowns and Factories of Cebu was hard to escape.

I felt powerless to do anything about the conversation I had with the taxi driver. Then i'm reminded of something on my way to Cebu. At DefCon 22, I'm having waffles with my circle of friends. One of my friends flew from Sierra Leone to Las Vegas discussing Open Source Software, second-hand laptops and tablets, and Platform as a Service to vaccinate as many people in Sierra Leone as possible from the Ebola outbreak. His epic talk at the 32nd Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin, Germany inspired me to brainstorm the idea of using Open-Source tools as a solution for balancing Fisheries and the Environment.

This is where I felt my personal experiences in the Philippines with the methods of using open-source software and working technologies with a low-cost solution for the Philippines' Fisheries Sector - The FishMarket EcoSystem.

The FishMarket EcoSystem is also motivated by Socrata's open government data model for sharing government data.

What it does

  • FishMarket EcoSystem is an information portal using Data Aggregation for the fisheries sector.
  • Enterprise as a Service: It's built on the open source ERP (Enterprise Resource Program) platform capable to scale for services between the fisheries sectors, Governments and Non-Government Officials.
  • Data Storage: A data center for regional, national, and industrial sectors of ASEAN countries to combat illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing.
  • Marketplace: A marketplace for the fisheries sector to buy new and used tools at low prices. It is designed to be affordable.
  • Incentives: Provide an incentives platform for fisheries to comply with Fisheries Codes. In this fishackathon case study, we focus on the Philippines Fisheries Code of 1998.
  • Visualized Maps: Maps of Restricted Fishing Zones, Exclusive Economic Zones, Protected Preservation Zones and other maps from accumlated data. Maps are downloadable rest APIS. They're simplified for the fisheries sector (commercial and recreational).
  • Transparency: Archiving data from the fisheries and governemnt sectors. Designed for governance between private and public sectors while storing data logs of messages, fishing, Automatic Location Communicator and Vessel Monitoring System logs on the cloud (using AWS or any cloud service).
  • Education: Collaboration between fisheries, governments, recreational fishers, non-government organizations, Public Relations, universities and research centers to share collected data in our EcoSystem.
  • Compatability: The FishMarket EcoSystem is an information portal designed to be compatible with a percentage of the population using low-end minimal technologies (ex: flip phones using 2G networks).

How I built it

Powered by Odoo, an open-source openERP application on my AWS E2 Instance. I built the app on Odoo to get the web portal prototype working in 24 hours for my demonstration at the Fishackathon. I'm also using the Amazon DynamoDB platform to host the databases for the data center, Amazon s3 for document storage, and Amazon Glacier for cloud archiving storage. Odoo is a robust program built for commercial enterprises and scalable for growth.

Challenges I ran into

I'll need more help. There's no way I can do this alone. I'm in talks with Liya at the Long Beach fishackathon to see if I can assemble a team.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I don't know if I can answer this question alone.

What I learned

I learned Filippinos residing in islands near Cebu City, Toledo City, and Bohol are forming their own sancturaries for environmental protection and preservation of their surrounding wildlife. I hope the data portal, should I have help to release it, helps them with additional resources.

What's next for FishMarket EcoSystem

I'd like the FishMarket EcoSystem to win the blessings of the Global judges :)

Aside from that. I'm hoping I can gather enough support in the Philippines and use the system as a portal for participating ASEAN countries. I'm looking to make this a full information portal based on the GPL/MIT license. If we do make this a profitable enterprise, it would most likely be used to help aid funding sustainable projects from aquaponics farming at a rural village to improving urban infrastructure for clean drinkable waters.

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