The main purpose of our Information and Awareness division is to gather information from fishing communities and from the political and scientific spheres in order to document and disseminate this at grass roots level and thereby raise awareness. Since internet access is still very limited in fishing communities, with only a handful of libraries offering the service, Masifundise produces a local newsletter called VissersNet which is distributed in coastal communities. The articles derive information from fishing communities as well as from our knowledge on fisheries policy and management issues, and the stories are presented in popular language that is understood by community people. Vissers Net has served the very important purpose of sharing information and building consciousness at community level.
At present, we disseminate information through our website, which provides information for a broader audience and we use bulk sms messaging and telephone conferences to communicate and disseminate information to community leaders. This has proved a very effective means of information sharing in times of urgency, and has been used with great success over the past couple of years when discussing urgent issues regarding the new fishing policy.