MEP receive the Peterson Innovation Award (PIA) 2016 for their innovative ideas and technologies that will improve the sustainability and longevity of Sierra Leone regions fisheries

pia-award-2MEP receive the PIA (Peterson Innovation Award) 2016 Award for innovative ideas and technologies.

Each year Peterson and Control Union present The PIA and PCA awards to stimulate employees to come up with innovative ideas that contribute to the success of their organisation.

MEP were awarded the PIA for their innovative ideas and technologies that will improve the sustainability and longevity of small scale  fisheries.

Sierra Leone’s artisanal fishery employs 40,000 fishermen, and their families, who are directly employed in the catching, processing, distribution and marketing of fish. Most of them live in deprived communities with little or no access to basic necessities, such as clean and safe drinking water, electricity, decent health facilities and education systems for their children. Many of the people in these communities fish to survive. It is essential that accurate information is collected on artisanal fishing effort and landings to ensure that the Sierra Leonean people will have a reliable and sustainable source of fish protein for the foreseeable future.  Stephen Akester of MEP has been working with these communities under a World Bank funded project for the last 7 years.

Fishing boats at Tombo Fishing community

Fishing boats at Tombo Fishing community

Subsequently, in Autumn 2016 Frances James of MEP travelled to Sierra Leone to commence a pilot fisheries data collection programme in two fishing communities (Tombo and Konakridee), where they installed AIS Tracking units on artisanal fishing canoes.  These units use innovative satellite and mobile phone technology to collect basic information on fishing effort and landings. This pilot phase is in preparation for a more comprehensive data collection system and in the future, the enumeration of total catches and related fishing efforts, the cost incurred and revenue generated in fishing operations and their effects on the employment and socio-economic conditions and livelihoods of fishers will be included.

MEP are extremely grateful to Peterson and Control Union for this award.  The international jury had the difficult task of measuring each submission to the following criteria;
• Presentation
• Out-of-the-box thinking
• Social, Health, Environmental impact
• Adapting to day to day problems by means of an improvement target
• New Business opportunity
• KISS (keeping it short & straightforward)