Tuna Pacific website to meet needs of oceanic fisheries community

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People involved in the tuna industry across the Pacific have demanded simplicity, clarity and a focus on the essential numbers in a new website on tuna in the Pacific.

400 leading figures involved in tuna were asked what they wanted from the site. Thirty per cent responded, a good rate for a survey of this nature.

Their answer, in a word, is data.

“I want to know how many fish are out there, how healthy the stocks are, and what is predicted for the future,” says one respondent..

“That’s the only way we can write fishing policies that will keep our industry alive and well.”

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Jenni Metcalfe, the consultant designing the web site, says that the best sites reflect what users need.

“The information they need should be only 2 clicks away. They are not storehouses of organisational information,” she says.

Survey respondents were drawn from groups and individuals with an interest in Pacific tuna, from the fishing industry, environmental groups, scientists, and government officers who write fishing policy.

The web site is designed to cover tuna interests in Micronesia, Polynesia and Melanesia. While data is their main need, respondents raised other issues as well:

  • information on the benefits and employment from tuna
  • examples of successful policies and ideas
  • a section for each country, to portray the unique qualities
  • headlines and news, including biodiversity status

They also want a web site suitable for the region, simple, user-friendly, interactive and easy to navigate.

Simplicity is important, because the site has to serve an audience ranging from local communities to international conservation organisations.

The speed and cost of internet services is a factor, and also getting access to a computer in communities and offices where equipment has to be shared and may not be the most modern.

The site is part of the Global Environment Fund support of the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project. Implementation is the responsibility of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency.

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