New digital technologies are transforming the way fish are harvested, traded and regulated. We know this can aid marine conservation, but what impact might it have on communities of fisherpeople?

This Round 4 Innovation Fund project examines the experiences and perspectives of the fishing community regarding the benefits and constraints posed by digitalisation in case studies of Devon and Cornwall. It will explore inequalities of access to technology and the views of fisherpeople themselves on the relationship between technology and sustainability.

The project aims to increase understanding of how technology design and implementation can work with grassroot perspectives to produce more inclusive and sustainable outcomes—benefiting both fisherpeople’s livelihoods and biodiversity.

Research questions

  1. What kind of digital technologies do fishing communities test and use in fisheries supply chains in Devon and Cornwall? What are the intended and unintended effects of these technologies on marine conservation and fisher people?
  2. What forms of inclusion and exclusion do these technologies generate? In what ways are digital spaces, tools and data experimented, appropriated and contested by diverse members of the fishing community?
  3. How can digital technologies be re-imagined, designed and deployed in more collaborative ways to give greater agency to fishing communities?


The research adopts a mixed-method approach including:

  • Ethnographic methods (participant observation)
  • Semi-structured interviews
  • Participatory/collaborative workshops with fishing communities


Principal Investigator: Dr Demet Dinler