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The FAO/DANIDA Project "Training in Fish Stock Assessment and Fishery Research Planning" has organized training courses on fish stock assessment and workshops dealing with the assessments of specific resources in many countries. The general experience has been that in many cases proper assessments were difficult to achieve due to restrictions in the available data, both in quality and quantity.

In August 1997 at its first session, the APFIC Joint Working Party on Fishery Statistics and Economics recommended that APFIC and FAO should prepare "draft guidelines on methodologies and standards for the collection of production and structural statistics for capture fisheries".

On this basis it was decided to form an informal inter-departmental working group to organize an Expert Consultation on Routine Data Collection and a Regional Workshop to allow experts from Asia to review the draft guidelines on the collection of data from marine and inland fisheries. Chapters of the guidelines were written prior to the Expert Consultation, but during the meeting most of these manuscripts were re-arranged and simplified.

This document was designed and written from 18 to 30 May 1998 in Bangkok, Thailand by a group of experts with a variety of skills in anthropology, biology, economics, data processing and statistics:

Patricia Clay, Ian Cowx, David Evans, Felimon Gayanilo Jr., Richard Grainger, Angel Gumy, Veravat Hongskul, Tony Jarrett, Paul Medley, Peter Miyake, Sean Pascoe, Christian Riise, Per Sparre, Constantine Stamatopoulos, Siebren Venema, Morten Vinther, Teo Siong Wan, Paul van Zwieten.

The guidelines were reviewed by participants at the Regional Workshop, in Bangkok, from 25 to 29 May 1998.

Further refinement of the document through editing or additional material was provided by the following people:

Patricia Clay, Adele Crispoldi, Peter Flewwelling, Serge Garcia, Luca Garibaldi, Richard Grainger, Paul Medley, Sean Pascoe, Siebren Venema and Rolf Willmann.

Both meetings and several consultants were funded by the FAO/DANIDA Project, while ICCAT, ICLARM, the Mekong River Commission and NOAA/NMFS provided staff free of charge.

Cover picture: Sampling in Viet Nam by Per Sparre

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