Fish Talk

Translation app for Pacific Island fishing inspectors.


Fish Talk is a translation app for fishing inspectors from Pacific island nations. The Fish Talk app was developed in collaboration with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and funded by the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) through their foreign aid budget.
UX and UI
Mobile Apps
Screenshots of the Fish Talk app showing translation categories

Sustainable resource management.

For the island nations of the Pacific Ocean, seafood, especially tuna, is one of their most valuable resources.
Through the implementation of the Nauru Agreement and the work of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, these island nations have developed a coordinated system of auctioning fishing licenses to foreign fishing fleets. This process provides a sizeable income for Pacific island nations, while ensuring that fish stocks are not overfished, and is seen as a model of sustainable resource management worldwide.
A system of foreign fishing licenses also requires enforcement. Every participating Pacific island nation maintains a fleet of vessels staffed by trained fisheries inspectors that will approach and board vessels at sea to inspect their catch.
Which is where Fish Talk comes in.
Screenshots of the Fish Talk app showing a phrase translated into Bahasa

The Fish Talk app.

The central feature of the Fish Talk app is a collection of translated phrases. However, these are not travellers, but rather a collection of questions and statements specific to the inspection of foreign fishing vessels.
The app supports five languages and more than 300 phrases. Each phrase includes written and professionally recorded audio translations. Additionally, the app includes a folio of illustrations for presentation and facilities to capture images and audio during the inspection.
Backing the app is a custom content management system, where phrases can be organised and new phrases uploaded.
Screenshots of the Fish Talk app showing more translation categories and phrases

A very unique use case.

One of the key challenges in the design of the Fish Talk app was meeting the unique scenario in which the app would be used. This was an app that would be used mostly on the high seas, with absolutely no network coverage, during the boarding of a foreign fishing vessel.
Fisheries inspectors would need to find phrases in a high pressure environment, then present phrases shown on their own devices to the captain and crew of the vessels they board.
The resulting design emphasises high-contrast and large scale text, along with simple gestures to swipe between phrases and secondary buttons for experienced users to switch between categories and features.
The success of the original build has led to a fruitful, ongoing relationship, with the addition of new features into the app and a white-labelling project allowing client-specific versions of the app to be published.
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Help where its needed.

We've had a great time working on this app and getting to know the dedicated and hard-working team at the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). But even more, it feels good to be contributing to such a well-considered foreign aid project - providing our Pacific Island neighbours with a free, easily accessible tool to help them do what is such an important job.
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