Ecosystem Approach Community of Practice: smartfish

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The SMARTFISH project offers an opportunity for participating countries of Indian Ocean and related RECs, RFBs and NGOs to receive support from FAO for the implementation of a Regional Fishery Strategy for the ESA-IO Region The project assists participating countries to strengthen national and regional fishery/aquaculture policy and strategy frameworks and to acquire additional knowledge on fisheries management for use in planning and monitoring. The project is funded by the EC and support participating countries to fulfill international commitment towards responsible fisheries and to improve food security. In this context, the 4th session of the SWIOFC Scientific Committee (Mahé, Seychelles, 29 November–2 December 2010) requested FIRMS, WIOFish, Statbase and Fishcode-STF to work on systems’ integration in order to lay the foundations of a comprehensive fisheries regional information system (F-RIS). This activity is part of the overall SmartFish project work plan.
The 3 existing information systems provide information and statistics on South West Indian Ocean fisheries:

  • WIOFish, a regional knowledge database on fisheries;
  • FIRMS, the Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System which globally integrates regional knowledge on the state of resources, including SWIO resources;
  • and StatBase, a fisheries statistical database.

The main ojbective of the f-RIS is to develop a fisheries regional information system centralizing the SWIO information and statistics currently scattered among three distinct existing systems. The initial assessment phase highlighted the need to offer innovative technical to avoid developing a system based on a typical central database architecture with ad-hoc exchanges mechanisms.
The iMarine FLOD components were identified as potential core F-RIS engine to index and annotate information and data available in the 3 source systems and proposing the F-RIS portal browsing and query tools to access easily these information and data.

Collaboration with iMarine was initially focusing on web semantic services implementation and later was enriched with the need to host the portal as the initial hosting solution in the Kenyan Fisheries Marine Research Institute in Mombasa, Kenya was subject to sustainability issues.

The possibility to create a VRE to host and make available to the community F-RIS index and annotations has been discussed and could be added to the SmartFish - iMarine collaboration in the next phase of SmartFish if it is validated.

(Describe the expected service in maximum 3 sentences) iMarine is firstly providing side hosting solution for the SmartFish portal. 2 versions of the prototypes are currently on-line, a first version that has validated the proof of concept (link to v1) and a second version, currently under progress with a new design and improved web semantic services (link to v2). Secondly, iMarine is providing web semantic services for indexing and annotating documents collections from WIOFish (HTML files), FIRMS (XML files) and StatBase (Excel files).
Implementation activity

The creation of a webserver instance to host SmartFish can be tracked through TRAC:

  • The initial request was described here [[1] ticket 2060]
  • Additional tools were request to set up a development environment such as:
    • SVN: [[2] ticket 2200 ]
    • JIRA: created in the FIGIS framework.

The implementation of web semantic services has been defined as follow:

  • Main enhancements to the delivered facility are described by e.g.:
    • improvement of the search engine with the following activities
      • Create an index with Elastic Search, with default settings, on a subset of F-RIS document collection (provided by FAO)
      • Integrate the search facilities of iMarine search component in the F-RIS back-end, and serve the front-end maintaining the same search response schema
      • Test the integration result by performing the user query from the F-RIS front-end and ensure that it mimics the current behavior. This will also set a base line to evaluate the improvements requested.
      • Produce indication of the document sections sensitive of specific indexing
      • Engineer a new index schema provided the indication of the sections in the document that are sensitive of higher relevance to a user query.

This operation can be recursively refined over time as a tweak for improving precision and recall (see activity #8)

      • Running full text indexing of the complete collection of documents
      • Test the portal search feature and evaluate improvement of precision and recall.
      • More rounds of activities 4, 5 and 6 if necessary
    • improved annotation base for the F-RIS portal with the following activities
      • Analysis of the document types to identify the elements sensitive of producing an annotation
      • Implementation of the document processors to extracts the annotation
      • Running test for producing annotations
      • Deploying in the infrastructure the F-RIS services, that uses the annotations
      • Test the behavior of the F-RIS front-end

Priority to CoP
(List proposed solution priority following the iMarine Board priority setting criteria:)
  • The target community can be split in 2: data contributors and data consumers.
    • data contributors are source information systems. This source information systems are not limited to the 3 current source information Systems;
    • data consumers are fisheries experts, fisheries professional and the wider public with an expressed interest in fisheries ;
  • Users; there are 2 groups of users: the source information systems data managers, which can be any kind of open information systems publishing public data and the final data user.
  • Potential for co-funding; High as other stakeholders could be interesting to develop Regional Information Systems based on the same concepts
  • Structural allocation of resources; SmartFish hosting is already in place. Activities on annotation and indexing are currently in progress and should be achieved by December 2013 for a presentation in a stakeholder workshop mid December 2013.
  • Referred in DoW;in BC3
  • How does the proposed action generally support sustainability aspects? SmartFish being hosted in iMarine e-infrastructure is a sustainable solution compared to the initial foreseen solution of a local hosting a marine research institute in Kenya that showed its limits with another hosted statistical database;
  • How consistent it is with regulations/strategies ?
  • Re-usability – benefits – compatibility: SmartFish use case is the typical example of reuse of existing components (FLOD) and of improvement of these components. Benefits are immediate with the possibility to reuse existing components (saving development time) and to easily improve them (use of common open source technologies);
Relation to CoP Software
  • iMarine ConnectCube
  • iSearch
  • Xsearch
Relation to D4S technologies

Are the proposed measures effective?
  • Yes, as it proposes a faster and more efficient way of accessing data scattered among 3 source information systems.
Does it reduce a known workload?
  • User gets in one result page proposals for information and data available in 3 IS. The user saves time and access information he might suspect not available in a given system (like statistical information scarcely available in WIOFish but widely available in FIRMS)
How must the component be delivered to users? (UI Design / on-line help / training material / support)
  • A portal has been created using a simple PHP technology and a PostgreSQL database to store the application ontology. Simple users interfaces provide user access to search engine and refinement tools to access the needed information. The application ontology aims to organize data access by relevant domains corresponding to common interest of fisheries experts or professional.
Are there any policies available that describe data access and sharing?
  • data access and sharing policy of Smartfish [3]
Have the Copyright / attribution / metadata / legal aspects been addressed from a user and technology perspective?


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