USAID-Qualcomm Strategic Partnership – Fishing with 3G Nets in Cabralia-Bahia State

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Alexandre Alves

USAID-Qualcomm Strategic Partnership – Fishing with 3G Nets in Cabralia-Bahia State

The Fishing with 3G Nets project has the objective of creating conditions for sustainable development of local fishing communities, based on actions for social strengthening, environmental management and economic development, integrating knowledge and existing traditional practices with current technological alternatives and possibilities, with the 3G technology as the main pillar behind planned activities.

The project is a result of a partnership developed between Qualcomm and USAID. Later on, other partners were welcome to the project: Vivo Telefonica, a Brazilian Telecom private company, and the municipality of Cabralia. (

IN 2009, USAID/Brazil contributed with small U$ 60.000 grant to the project. The fund was invested in a feasibility study which turned out to demonstrate that the project would be feasible if structure and developed in Cabralia. From 2010 on, at Qualcomm’s request, USAID started providing technical, monitoring and evaluation assistance to the project. USAID is an active member of the project’s steering committee which meets once every quarter along with Qualcomm, implementing institutions and the municipality of Cabralia.


The project is in the municipality of Santa Cruz Cabralia, historically known as the location where the Portuguese first landed in 1500. In 2009, USAID, Qualcomm Incorporated, through its Wireless ReachTM initiative, Vivo Telecomunications and the Municipality of Cabralia have provided funding, in-kind support and technical assistance to roll out the program. The funding from the partners (Qualcomm, Vivo Telecom) procured system design and development, training, implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation services.

Fishing with 3G Nets created a system to foster sustainable economic development and increase public safety by promoting digital and social inclusion for isolated fisherman and oyster’s cultivators. The system integrates mobile and web-based applications and tablet devices to support business operations and deliver real-time safety information to participating community members in Santa Cruz Cabrália, Bahia, Brazil. Qualcomm’s 3G wireless technology serves as the catalyst to link the beneficiaries with access to information, social networks, and markets.


The applications used in the project “Fishing with 3G Nets” give the following benefits to the community members and to the city:

  • Navigation security: localization and real-time updates on the weather conditions;
  • Strategic marketing assistance: monitoring of market prices to strengthen the sales negotiations and determine the fishing capture target and the best period for the harvest of the seafood cultivated;
  • Direct sales: allows the direct pre-sales of daily capture in on-line market through wireless communication, informing type and number of the fishes harvested;
  • Data collection: support to the government initiatives for sustainable fishing through the statistical monitoring of type and number of fishes harvested;
  • Technical support: analysis and advices given by experts in water quality to support the oyster improvements.


Income generation – Until august 2013, 22 tons of fish were caught, processed and commercialized, which generated U$97,000 in new income to fishermen and their families. Fishermen from the indigenous people of Pataxos are also beneficiaries of the project.

Cultivation of oyster to benefit local women - An oyster farm was established to create job for local women. In 2012, more than 10.000 oysters were treated and 4.120 were sold in the market generating U$ 2,574 in revenues. 42 local restaurants and hotels are purchasing oysters using project’s web based and mobile equipment to order and communicate with the local women. 3 large aquariums were installed in selected restaurants to showcase the project and sell the oysters. The income generated go straight to the group of 30 local women participants in the project.

Internet Access - New telecommunication tower was installed in the community of Guaiu providing to approximately 12.000 residents access to internet and cellular phone system.

Replicating Fishing with 3G Nets project in Colombia – Because of the successful implementation and results, Qualcomm has consulted with USAID/Brazil on how to expand the project to Colombia.