Fishing and ICT. Projet presentation. M@rsouin 2006 project

, by Annabelle Boutet-Diéye, Christine Chauvin-Blottiaux

We propose to analyze the impact of the ICT in management and information’s usage in the relations between the sea and the ground. In the marine fisheries sector, the transmission of information takes a particular dimension, because it reduces the uncertainty and therefore modifies the relations among the actors of the highly competing and competitive fishing industry.

Consequences in terms of theoretical research.

Understanding the human and social elements which intervene when users appropriate new technical devices requires a multidisciplinary approach, to which ergonomic psychology, sociology and engineering particularly contribute. However, ergonomic psychology and sociology hardly collaborate. In this project, the researchers of both domains look forward to sharing and improving the way they proceed and think insisting on the concept of intermediation which seems to be the central element in the diffusion of the ICT.

We therefore propose an original interdisciplinary approach of the ICT which will contribute to bring together both of these disciplines and which could be introduced in the following magazines: in French “Le travail humain”, in English “International Newspaper of Man-Machine Studies” or “International Newspaper of Human-Computer studies”.

Consequences in terms of applied sciences.

It has already been more than ten years that the bridges of the high seas bottom trawlers are equipped with color sounders, road tracers, on-screen-fishing maps and positioning by satellite tools. Technological progress thus involved the end of on-boat-insulation and a better safety.

The ICT are essential for the sailors who are far from their families and fish markets, and who expect to communicate for personal and economic reasons. Today, the communications use the Inmarsat geostationary system. Inmarsat offers a whole types of services all using the same satellites. In the same way, the use of the Inmarsat system and the computerization of the auctions brought a new configuration to the trades.

The aim is to bring support to the decision in the context of the diffusion of the information and communication techniques, of the equipment of ships and auctions. It is, in particular, a matter of highlighting the different types of services on the exchanges of personal and economic information, of highlighting their usages (which can be different from the ones planned by their designers) and suggesting specifications for new functionalities meeting the current, desired or desirable uses.

Consequences in terms of development of tools.

The project suggested insists on studies in the field. Beside the methods of inquiry, the methods of observation developed in ergonomics and ethnology will be used to analyze the uses of the ICT by the different actors of the industry: during auctions and on the bridge of fishing boats. These methods are very different - and complementary - from the methods of inquiry. Elements unaccessible by the means of interviews and questionnaires, in particular the impact of the ICT on the dynamics of the action or the negotiations have to be revealed.

The experience of empirical research could be used as a basis for a more general thought, in the context of M@rsouin’s research, and beyond it, on the research-action modalities.

Organization of the project.

Sub-project 1. Theoretical and methodological harmonization. (Annabelle Boutet, Christine Chauvinistic-Blottiaux, Ghislaine Tirilly)

Constitution and sharing of the existing state of art in the two disciplines and the adjacent disciplines. Construction of a method to collect the common data. This co-construction work will be subject to theoretical publication and will be followed by a presentation at a seminar open to the researchers of M@rsouin.

Expected: Observation table and protocol of inquiry. Duration: 3 months.

Sub-project 2. Inquiry in the field (Christine Chauvinistic-Blottiaux, Ghislaine Tirilly, Gaël More, Annabelle Boutet)

The research approach will be based on an observation work made in the different place of business on the sea or on the land and on individual interviews of different users.

Expected: Collection of data as monographies, intermediate report. Duration: 4 months.

Sub-project 3. Data analysis. (Annabelle Boutet, Christine Chauvinistic-Blottiaux, Ghislaine Tirilly, Gaël Morel)

Expected: Research report. Duration: 4 months.

Sub-project 4. Valorization. (Christine Chauvinistic-Blottiaux, Annabelle Boutet, Ghislaine Tirilly, Gaël Morel)

Expected: presentation to the professionals implied in the project, publication of articles, publication of the reports made for M@rsouin, international communication. Duration: 3 months and beyond the project.

Bibliography, state of the art.

The interactions created through the ICT make possible the understanding of the sociology of innovation and technologies. The issues are essentially about modes of transaction and sociability.

The impact of these interactions on the decisions taken (decisions to stay on board or to return to the harbour to sell the fishes) and eventually on the risks taken will be more precisely enlightened by cognitive psychology and ergonomics.

Social uses of the ICT in the marine fisheries sector were tackled in 1998 at a seminar organized by the local fishing committee of Guilvinec about a European project (Marsource) which, eventually, did not end. Since then and as far as we know, this theme has not been subject to scientific studies.