If you chat with fisherfolk about the weather, there’s a 90% chance they will say there is no need to check the forecast before heading out to sea. Almost always, they insist that they know the weather by heart. Fishermen have long relied on an intrinsic and ancient practice in weather knowledge—how the sky looks and how the wind smells are all the indicators they need.
But even seasoned experience has room for error, which is what WeatherPhilippines and Therma South (TSI) highlighted in conducting a Weather 101 training for fishermen of Barangays Binugao and Inawayan in Davao City. The goal was to teach them weather tools such as WeatherPhilippines mobile and web application and understand meteorological theories.
While not all of them have smartphones and connectivity, Kaye Rosario, WeatherPhilippines Sustainability Manager, pointed out that they can always coordinate with their respective Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, which has access to the tools.
“When it comes to weather-related disasters, fishermen are usually more vulnerable to weather disturbances because of the nature of their work. Even though their frequent exposure to the seas made them develop an intrinsic connection with weather, we want to help them complement their intuitive weather knowledge with new tools, technology, and further education on weather,” she explained.
In addition to the Weather 101 session, the participants were also trained on safe and sustainable fishing practices, including usage of water flotation devices and the basics on first aid and life support at sea.
“We are conducting this activity so that when you go out to fish, you can be assured of your safety,” TSI Corporate Social Responsibility Manager explained. “There are times that fishing at sea becomes unsafe if there are sudden changes in the weather patterns or if the boat experiences mechanical problems. Thus, we are conducting this activity so that when you go out to fish, you can be assured of their safety.”