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.

  • Healthy, functioning marine ecosystems are critical to the well-being of so called small island developing states (SIDS): these ecosystems contribute to local food security, foster a sense of community and cultural identity, and benefit national economies both directly through the extraction of natural resources and indirectly through tourism-based activities.
  • The first few months after a new management system hits the water can be crucial in determining its long-term success. Use this tool to review the actions that are often necessary for implementing a new fishery management program.
  • The major goal of marine reserves is to protect biological diversity and ecosystem functions. Marine reserves should be integrated into stock assessments, catch limits, bycatch reduction policies, and habitat protection measures. One can define this integration to mean the adjustment of marine reserve design and fishery management policies to maximize the benefits of both fisheries and reserves, while minimizing the costs. The potential benefits of marine reserves to fisheries are: insurance against management errors; reference conditions for stock assessments; some measure of bycatch reduction; insurance against extinction of unassessed yet vulnerable species; and some measure of habitat protection. Marine reserves may enhance catch-per-unit-effort and total catches. While displacement of fishing effort and attendant congestion and localized depletion in other areas does not appear to be a problem with small reserves, these issues could become significant if very large reserves are created. Fishing capacity reduction measures and limited entry programs can help to prevent these problems, as well as address one of the fundamental drivers of overfishing and lack of profitability.
  • There is a strong body of good practice that shows how abundant and healthy fish populations support greater social and economic benefits for society. However, one key constraint to recovering fisheries at the pace and scale required has been a lack of capital to finance their transition to sustainability. With the Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit (ISU), EDF developed a report which provides a set of tools for designing sustainable fisheries projects in a way that will attract investment from government, philanthropic and private investors.
  • This program is a model for managing mobile nearshore species through a coordinated system of co-management between federal and regional governments and local fishermen organizations.
  • Summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) is one of the most economically and ecologically important estuarine-dependent species in the northeastern United States. The status of the population is currently a topic of controversy. Our goal was to assess the potential of using larval abundance at ingress as another fishery independent measure of spawning stock biomass or recruitment.
  • Ocean policies around the world increasingly emphasize the importance of maintaining resilient ocean ecosystems, communities, and economies. To maintain and restore the resilience of healthy marine ecosystems in practice, specific management objectives with metrics and a policy framework for how to apply them will be needed. Here we present a concept for doing this, based on evidence that marine ecosystems transition from desirable to less desirable states in response to a number of physical, chemical, and biological drivers.
  • Es una guía desarrollada exclusivamente por EDF que provee información especializada de diseño para programas de Manejo Compartido por Cuotas. Basado en la experiencia de alrededor de 30 expertos pesqueros de todo el mundo, con la finalidad de facilitar a cualquier persona interesada en el tema, un amplio panorama sobre las distintas opciones de un programa de cuotas y sobre cómo éstas pueden ser adaptadas a una gran variedad de pesquerías.
  • As of 2013, about 200 catch share programs exist worldwide, managing more than 500 different species in 40 countries. This map shows the number of species by country that are managed under catch shares.
  • Twenty to 25% of global landings by volume and 15-20% by value are managed under catch shares. This infographic illustrates where catch shares exist around the world as well as the number of programs and species managed under catch shares in each country.