- most data collection systems have many common characteristics, irrespective of their environmental and individual methodological and operational aspects;
- a customized data collection system takes about three years to develop and implement. Development costs are drastically cut with the use of standard approaches and software.
In 1998 FAO's Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Unit started the re-design of ARTFISH. Its final version was issued in June 2000 and consists of three components: ARTPLAN for survey planning and training, ARTBASIC for handling primary catch/effort data and ARTSER for data integration and reporting.
ARTFISH does not require additional programming, changing of software or any specific computer expertise. It has been designed to adapt to any situation and its use can thus be as sophisticated as the country needs dictate. Users need only construct the required survey structures and feed the system with parameters and sample data.
The planner component of ARTFISH (ARTPLAN) is intended for training and survey planning purposes. It operates with empirical parameters and makes maximum use of existing knowledge regarding fishing operations and patterns. Its functions include:
- Setting-up working frames with sites, boat/gear types and strata;
- Definition of fishing patterns;
- Simulating fishing operations;
- Generating "pseudo-census" information;
- Evaluating alternative sampling scenarios for cost-effectiveness.
The central module of ARTFISH is called ARTBASIC and is used for the storage and processing of basic data on catches in terms of quantity and value and on fishing effort. It operates on standard classifications, frame survey data and samples on catches, fishing effort, prices and values. Its results consist of monthly estimates of fish production and values by species within the logical context of a calendar month (or a sub-period), a logical stratum and a specific boat/gear type.
The reporting component of ARTFISH is called ARTSER. Estimates from ARTBASIC are automatically integrated and formatted under a database structure organized to contain identifiers and monthly estimates. The database structure allows for flexible and user-friendly data screening and extraction, data grouping, reporting and plotting.
All ARTFISH procedures contain built-in operational guidelines. The installation kit also includes a quick-start user manual. A 12-15 days training is required for learning the functions of these ARTFISH components.