Building legacy and capacity by providing data security and improving processing methods for fisheries survey data
The Lake Victoria fishery supports c. 35 million people in the East African Community (EAC). The fishery is managed by the Lake Victoria fisheries Organisation (LVFO, Uganda). Fisheries research institutes in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania collect lake-wide acoustic data each year to estimate fish stock biomass using the R programming language. Biomass estimates are used in stock assessment, which is vital for sustainable management and economic resilience in the EAC.
The LVFO, in partnership with the University of St Andrews through GCRF funding, has recently re-evaluated their stock assessment methods and found them to be in urgent need of reappraisal. At a recent GCRF-funded knowledge-exchange workshop at the University of St Andrews (November 2018), it was identified that fisheries scientists from the EAC require urgent training in acoustic data analysis in R to enable them to update and improve their stock assessment methods.
In collaboration with Dr Laura Hobbs (University of Strathclyde and Scottish Association of Marine Science), Dr Roland Proud (University of St Andrews) delivered an R-training workshop at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI, June 2019). In addition to providing training, workshop participants contributed to the development of a method to classify fish schools using random forests, which has been submitted to the ICES Journal of Marine Science.