ABALOBI - transformation of small-scale fisheries, from 'Hook to Cook'

ABALOBI is a social enterprise based in South Africa, achieving equitable, sustainable and climate-smart small-scale fisheries.

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name


Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $100k - $250k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 250 - 500

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • South Africa

Headquarters location: City

Cape Town

Location(s) of impact

Country 1: Port Nolloth, Hondeklipbaai, Olifants, Doringbaai, Lambertsbaai, Langebaan, Kleinmond, Struisbaai



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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Small-scale fisheries are marginalised, in local and regional fisheries governance as well as global value chains. It is estimated that more than half of the global catch of marine resources comes from small-scale fishers, yet the contribution of small-scale fisheries remains largely invisible in the economies of many countries. Despite the great wealth of fishers’ knowledge, fishers are rarely consulted, and their knowledge is rarely effectively incorporated into fisheries governance.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

ABALOBI is an African based and fisher driven social enterprise with global reach, achieving equitable, sustainable and climate smart small-scale fisheries, powered by ICTs that enable inclusive, human rights-based, and integrated fisheries governance from ‘hook to cook’. Our products include a fisher logbook, a cooperative accounting system, and a fully traceable marketplace for seafood with a ’story’. Our services consist of fisher-to-fisher mentoring, digital financial inclusion services, datadriven science, Safety-at-Sea, Climate Change adaptation, capacity building and partnership driven support programmes. Uptake of the technology happens through the co-design process, and a grassroots but global advocacy movement by fishers using ABALOBI. We want to develop sustainable fisheries using transformative processes, innovative technology, value chain upgrading, supported by a traditional fishers’ knowledge base.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

To date, close to 250 fishers, catch monitors and three cooperatives actively use our app suite in their daily fisheries operations. They report a range of positive outcomes on their status vis a vis the fisheries department and scientists, recognition of the value of their local ecological knowledge in dialogues on climate change, their ability to engage with the market from a position of strength, improved safety at sea and building cohesion and solidarity amongst ABALOBI users. See this independent video made by GODAN storytelling the use case of fishers using ABALOBI’s logbook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxYskVv7Mk. Many fishers have also used their recorded data as evidence in fishing rights application processes. We intend to build on this early success so as to scale in South Africa and elsewhere and build fishers’ agency and entrepreneurial potential within a co-created sustainability framework. Ultimately, we want to create sustainable jobs in communities

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Our revenue is linked to 1) transaction fees on marketplace, servicing the now traceable supply chain, 2) hosting various financial services (microcredit, insurance, co-op payroll, etc.), 3) landing site monitoring data analysis for the fisheries authority, and then 4) hosting/deploying this model to different fisheries, in SA and across the globe. Our current budget comes from donations and grants however this will change to include earned income from products and services as we grow.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Hardly any of the current global efforts to tackle seafood traceability have been directed at small-scale fisheries, despite their potential importance to supply local and global markets, and the interest in sourcing fair, credible and low environmental impact seafood. Even fewer efforts have attempted to drive these processes to adapt cellular technologies from the bottom-up, co-designed and directed by fisher communities themselves.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

Fisheries governance is often largely informed by natural sciences ‘tunnel vision’, resulting in effort regulations that are not considered legitimate. My vision for fisheries is for a recognition of traditional knowledge. This ‘step zero’ in fisheries can represent a basis towards co-operative, environmentally responsible and socially just governance. In 2012, a new Policy for Small-scale Fisheries was gazetted in South Africa. I was integrally involved in the Policy development process, and I see ABALOBI as a key programme to unlock this vision of self-empowered fisher communities and local resource stewardship.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Upon recommendation from others


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