Project Details


Fisherman’s app helps monitor rare species

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @fishbrain

Organisations Involved Fishbrain (@fishbrain)
US Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Mobile
  • Social Software

Rivers are home to a wide variety of freshwater fish. The problem is that they have become increasingly contaminated. In the US alone, 1.2 trillion gallons of contaminated water and waste enter rivers each year. 

It’s not easy to track all freshwater fish populations, but a Stockholm-based startup is helping, with its sharing app for anglers called Fishbrain. 

Teaming up with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Fishbrain’s creator Johan Attby is encouraging the app’s 2 million users to share sightings of endangered species, in order to crowdsource data that can help track and protect rarely sighted fish like the shortnose sturgeon – recently spotted by a Fishbrain user. 

Users can share images and details of their catches, including size, weight, and type of bait, and share their findings with other users, as well as log any time they see a species on the endangered list, even if they’re not able to catch it. 

Fishbrain is clear about its catch and release policy, so no fish are harmed by anglers who use their app. Fishbrain also educates fishermen about how not to fish. For example, certain hooks can harm alligator snapping turtles, a threatened species, and fishing boats can collide with manatees, so users are advised to slow down in manatee-friendly areas. 

The data – unless a user opts out of the programme – is sent to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, where experts continue to work on conservation. Attby says that a staggering 1.4 million users have been logging sightings in the last few months, and the data is being shared with experts all over the US. 

The more users there are, the more data we will have to help conserve endangered species of freshwater fish. Download the app via

Image courtesy of Benjamin 1970

Last updated: 04th of October, 2016

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