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Scientific assessment is one of the keys to sustainable fisheries management. Yet the vast majority of the world’s fisheries lack scientific assessments or management guidance, resulting in high risk of decline and collapse. Managers and decision makers may also be reluctant to take action due to limited data or information about the fishery. Now, as climate change alters ocean conditions across the globe, scientific assessment and timely decision-making are more critical than ever.

Regardless of how much fishery data is available in your context, EDF has a suite of tools and resources to help you use the best available information to assess the health of ecosystems and fish stocks, develop management priorities and implement adaptive forms of management.

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Failure to assess the status and productivity of fish stocks can increase the risk of stock collapse and lead to loss of social and economic benefits associated with sustainable yield. Lack of historically rich data records, as well as the cost of data collection, are two obstacles to increasing the number of stocks that are assessed. In order to overcome these obstacles, fishery scientists have developed a suite of assessment methods—“data-limited methods.”

Due to the complexity of data-limited stock assessments, EDF has developed FISHE, an eleven-step framework that produces rapid, adaptive and precautionary management guidance to help make use of the growing number of assessment methods. This framework is designed to help ease the intricate assessment process by combining multiple methods (and their various data requirements) into a structured step-by-step process. The information produced via the assessment models found in this integrated framework can serve as the scientific basis for managing data-limited fisheries. 

Learn more about FISHE