Environmental Defense Fund's Sustainable Fisheries Toolkit is the leading online resource for science-based information on rights-based management. No single organization in the world has invested more time or resources on rights-based management or education. Use the filters below to explore EDF’s fishery tools, manuals, case studies, academic studies, reports, and activities.

Visit Google Scholar’s page on RBM for additional studies.

  • Sex-specific demography and reproductive biology of stripey bass (Lutjanus carponotatus) (also known as Spanish flag snapper, FAO) were examined at the Palm and Lizard island groups, Great Barrier Reef(GBR). The results caution against assessing reef-fish stocks without reference to sex-, size-, and location-specific biological traits.
  • Food security, economic opportunities, and other benefits provided by a healthy ocean are in jeopardy because of years of overexploitation of many fisheries, and the challenges will intensify in many locales as climate and the environment continue to change. This paper highlights the contribution of emerging science-based solutions and the steps needed to replicate and scale these successes. Triple-wins for the environment, the economy, and society can be achieved through integrated fisheries management and protection as conscious steps toward reversing the current degradation of our ocean’s living resources.
  • The Galician goose barnacle fishery’s integration of traditional fishing guilds, provision of secure and exclusive fishing areas and use of an on-site fisheries ecologist have formed one of the most successful models of fisheries co-management in Spain.
  • River herring, which comprise two species of anadromous alosines (alewife and blueback herring), are under consideration for listing under the US Endangered Species Act. River herring populations have not rebounded despite reductions in directed fishing and improvements in their freshwater and estuarine habitats. We discuss possible management measure to reduce bycatches.
  • Organizational structure and cooperation within Territorial Use Rights for Fishing (TURFs) is key to understanding the success of these programs. This paper, by E. Wilen et al., analyzes these factors while reviewing the experience with TURFs in Japan and Chile.
  • The amphibiousness of metapopulation theory; where in the sea is metapopulation theory less relevant; knowledge of dispersal pathways and mechanisms; knowledge of rates and extents of connectivity; marine metacommunities; spatially explicit management of marine fishery resources.
  • Anthropogenically induced global climate change has profound implications for marine ecosystems and the economic and social systems that depend upon them. The relationship between temperature and individual performance is reasonably well understood, and much climate-related research has focused on potential shifts in distribution and abundance driven directly by temperature. However, recent work has revealed that both abiotic changes and biological responses in the ocean will be substantially more complex. Key directions for future research include identifying key demographic transitions that influence population dynamics, predicting changes in the community-level impacts of ecologically dominant species, incorporating populations ability to evolve (adapt), and understanding the scales over which climate will change and living systems will respond.
  • The goal here is to examine the use of metapopulation concepts and theory in marine systems. The authors consider three general explanations for the pattern of use of metapopulation ideas in marine ecology: examine whether there are fundamental differences between marine and terrestrial systems, explore whether the slow adaptation of a metapopulation paradigm in marine ecology might have a direct consequence of the pattern of development of ideas and questions in marine ecology, and examine the extent to which marine environmental management and conservation may have helped initiate and now continue to drive the application of metapopulation theory.
  • The ecology of coral reef fishes seems to invite a metapopulation perspective. Metapopulation structure is determined by the spatial arrangement of local populations, coupled with life history traits that allow metapopulation dynamics to be enacted. The most important objective, here and in future considerations of this issue, has to do with developing an understanding of the processes that determine the population dynamics of coral reef fishes.
  • Beyond food and job security, fishing economies add billions to global GDP. But this segment of the blue economy has long been overlooked because the dominant view about the future of the oceans has been so bleak. New groundbreaking research shows that poorly performing fisheries can be turned around fast. Scientists and economists from UC Santa Barbara, EDF, and the University of Washington have teamed up to create a new “upside” bio-economic model that gives the most holistic view to date of the potential benefits to be gained from the oceans, if sustainable fishing becomes the norm.