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Link: Scaling up: the app that’s transforming lives in South African fishing communities | Fishing

The 59-year-old Wilfred Poggenpoel is a fisher from Lambert’s Bay, a picturesque town 170 miles north of Cape Town that’s popular with surfers and home to 17,000 breeding pairs of Cape gannets. Five years ago, he made the decision to join a virtual marketplace called Abalobi, which enables fishers such as him to sell their catch directly to restaurants, retailers and consumers using a custom-built app. “I get a better price and I can sell more species now,” he says. “I’ve bought a 60-horsepower motor that I’d never have been able to afford before. I’ve bought a second boat.” He joined, he says, because he didn’t want to spend all day walking around town in the sun trying to sell fish. “My quality of life has improved. I’ve even been able to help some old people in the community.” Abalobi (which means fisher in isiXhosa, one of the official languages of South Africa) is a tech nonprofit that works to help the small-scale fishers who make up the bulk of the South African fishing industry but are traditionally excluded from it financially. #


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