Outreach communications encouraging fishermen to adopt sustainable fishing practices
Indonesia’s coastal fisheries sustain over 9 million people working in the sector as well as consumers around the world.
However, the sustainability of these fisheries is threatened by overfishing and ineffective management.
To make informed decisions about how and where to manage fishing efforts, we need better data. This is precisely what The Nature Conservancy’s SNAPPER programme is all about.
By enlisting the help of fishers to take photos of their catches and to report on their location with tracking devices, the conservation organization is trying to get comprehensive information on what fishes are being caught, where and when. But that picture is only as robust as the data that underpins it – and this is where The Nature Conservancy had a problem.
To get solid data – through better quality photos of fish catches and systematic use of the location-tracking device for traceability – The Nature Conservancy had to influence captains and their crews that participate in their programme to feel more invested in it. So the organisation turned to Catalyze.
We started exploring what it’s like to be a fisherman. After all, if we did not understand their priorities and motivations, it was unlikely we could convince them to participate more effectively in the programme.
It’s easy to make assumptions about what people need to convince them to do something. We carefully resisted that urge.
Following an induction workshop with the SNAPPER programme team, we devised a research plan and packed our bags to spend some time with fishermen and The Nature Conservancy staff in 3 harbours in eastern Indonesia. It was during this immersion that we got a sense of participating fishermen’s experiences, behaviours, and attitudes toward sustainable fishing practices. We surveyed harbours, traced the flow of fish catch data, and mapped the environment onboard fishing vessels to identify what participants struggle with and what would motivate them to better comply with SNAPPER’s expectations.
One thing that jumped out from our discussions with fishermen is that they generally seemed convinced that the ocean’s resources would always be bountiful. Instead, peer pressure and communal responsibility were their motivation for contributing to the SNAPPER programme.
With this knowledge in hand, our design team could develop communications that really spoke to SNAPPER fishermen.
We designed a set of outreach materials under a brand called Nelayan Peduli (Caring Fishermen), which highlights fishermen’s crucial role in the continued prosperity of Indonesia’s fisheries.
Inspired by the Indonesian cultural tradition of gotong royong – where every member of a community is expected to contribute to ensure communal resilience – Nelayan Peduli communications encourage fishermen to see SNAPPER data collection as a shared duty that they can be proud to contribute to.
Visual branding makes it easy to identify SNAPPER programme participants, while a “4S” pneumonic summary of procedures helps fishermen remember the correct way to sort fish and take their photos. A deck of cards displaying local fish familiarises participants with species names as they play. A calendar keeps track of time onboard and explains SNAPPER data collection procedures.
Catalyze is now advising The Nature Conservancy through a user testing phase to assess how fishermen respond to the materials. By refining the approach and the visuals based on that feedback, we can ensure our outreach efforts align with what fisherman cares about.