Previous Page Table of Contents


Appendix A. An evaluation of the types and levels of fisheries management and the associated research relevant to small-scale fisheries

‘Aspect’ of management


Research questions

Higher level/ overarching approaches and concepts7

Sustainable livelihoods approach
Ecosystem approach
Ecosystem approach for fisheries
Multi-sectoral approaches
Inter-sectoral approaches
Transboundary or regional approaches

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of these overarching approaches (case studies, comparative studies and pilot projects) with respect to small-scale fisheries?

  • How does the current organizational structure, at international, regional, national and local levels, influence the effectiveness of these approaches? What alternative structures could improve the effectiveness of these approaches?

Fisheries management approaches8

  • Conventional marine approach (stock assessment based, top-down approach)

  • Traditional/indigenous approach

  • Co-management approach (including self-management)

  • Centralized

  • Decentralized

  • Rights-based approach

  • What approaches have and are currently working in small-scale fisheries, why and where?

  • What are the appropriate management objectives for small-scale fisheries? Including a review of existing management plans?
  • What are the conditions for success or failure of different approaches to small-scale fisheries?
  • What are the transaction costs and benefits (social, biological and economic) of different approaches?
  • How can we transfer and adapt approaches across small-scale fisheries?
  • What types of innovations in approaches are occurring, or should occur in small-scale fisheries?
  • What are the indigenous/traditional approaches in small-scale fisheries?
  • What are the lessons from other sectors?

  • What planning processes are applicable or effective under the different approaches?

  • What are the roles of the stakeholders and organizations in different approaches and how do they link?

  • Are there fundamental differences between the approaches and their effectiveness in the different habitat types (marine coastal/offshore, large freshwater bodies and small water bodies)?

Tools - Implementation (social, biological, economic)

Note: this list is not exhaustive

Social tools

  • Participatory Rural Appraisal

  • Facilitation

  • Communication/awareness

  • Mediation/conflict resolution

  • Social incentives

  • Capacity building (training leaders)

  • Gender focused tools

Economic tools

  • Investment

  • Buy-out

  • Compensation

  • Credit

  • Subsidies

  • Post-harvest marketing

  • Taxation

Allocation tools

· Rights-based (transferable quotas, individual quotas, territorial use rights etc.)
· Zonation - closures (temporal, spatial)
· Protected Areas
· Access limitation
· Registration/licensing
· Output controls (e.g. catch limits)
· Input controls (e.g. gear, vessels)
· Habitat alteration and rehabilitation (e.g. artificial reefs, replanting riparian vegetation)
· Restocking
· Stock enhancement

  • Which tools work and which do not work and what are their strengths and weaknesses in small-scale fisheries?

    • What are the appropriate conditions for application of different tools in small-scale fisheries?

    • Which tools are appropriate when resources are overexploited in small-scale fisheries?

    • What are the transaction costs and benefits of the different tools in small-scale fisheries?

    • Is there a link between the types of tools and the type of approach in small-scale fisheries?

    • What is the social, economic and biological impact of using different types tools in small-scale fisheries?

    • How long do tools take to show impacts?

    • What gears or improvement in gears is appropriate for small-scale fisheries (responsible fishing gear -e.g. by-catch reduction, eco-friendly)?

  • How much fishery resource is there to allocate and what are its boundaries?

    • What are the alternative (low cost) methods for resource assessment (e.g. indicators)?

  • What are the key issues relating to allocation?

    • Who currently gets the allocation, between and within sectors?

    • What are the alternative/competing uses of the resource or habitat within and outside the fisheries sector (e.g. ecotourism, game-fishing, hydropower, aquaculture, agriculture)?

    • To whom does ‘society’ want to give the allocation, what are the allocation rules and criteria, how is this decided?

    • How do you allocate when the resources are already overexploited?

    • What types of monitoring and evaluation are appropriate for small-scale fisheries? What low data monitoring methods are appropriate for small-scale fisheries?

  • What are the appropriate tools for capacity building, training and increasing awareness in small-scale fisheries?

    • What are the different dimensions of capacity that need to be built?

    • What can be learnt from other sectors (e.g. agriculture, forestry sector)? How can these be modified for the fishery sector?

    • Are different tools more effective for different groups of communities or stakeholders, e.g. with gender, with social strata, with scale, with culture?

    • What are the issues of inter-generational transfer (e.g. mentoring, apprenticeship)?

Monitoring and evaluation of the management approach (are objectives being met?)

  • Indicators

  • Low cost, simple assessment, low data approaches

  • What types of social, economic and biological indicators are appropriate for small-scale fisheries and how do the indicators link to the management objectives?

  • What are the types of monitoring and evaluation processes used in small-scale fisheries? Which ones work and why?

Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) at all levels, in order to ensure your rules and regulations are followed9.

  • Community based (e.g. peer-pressure)

  • Conventional enforcement (e.g. coast guard, police)

  • Technology based (e.g. Vessel Monitoring Systems)

  • How is MCS done in most small-scale fisheries, from the traditional/indigenous methods to conventional ‘enforcement’?

  • How do approaches to MSC at local and national levels link or interact?

  • What are the most applicable MCS arrangements for small-scale fisheries under the different management approaches and tools?

· What are the appropriate conditions for application of different MCS in small-scale fisheries?

· What are the transaction costs and benefits of the different MCS in small-scale fisheries?

· Is there a link between the types of tools and the type of MCS in small-scale fisheries?

· What is the social, economic and biological impact of using different MCS tools in small-scale fisheries?

7, 8 Note: These are not all mutually exclusive; approaches could be combinations of some of these.

9 These are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Source: ACFR Working Party on small-scale fisheries.

Appendix B. Pertinent information on tools and techniques that could be used in assessing vulnerability and poverty in small-scale fisheries communities

Tools and Techniques






Literature Search

Obtain secondary information

Libraries and institutions

Search and consultations

Provides perspectives of the situation

Information may be very general


Historical view of important events

Groups of elders, youths and women

Group discussion, interviews and feed back

Expedient summary of events (positive and negatives), helps identify medium and long-term solutions to problems

Exercise too long and complex, sensitive issues may be raised


Gives multiple ideas on issues, problems and solutions

Groups of elders, youths and women

Questions and responses on specific issue and summarize results

Facilitates participation in the idea building process, stimulates people to think, generate ideas and solutions, useful introduction to structured and focus group discussion

May result in conflicts and uneasiness in s group and limit value of results

Venn Diagramme

Identify institutions and their activities as well as relationships

Socio-professional groups

Semi-structured interviews

Easy to use, provides stakeholders opinion on institutions and identifies conflict situations

Group may be informal, difficult to appreciate relationships

Seasonal Calendars

Chronology of activities and preferred livelihoods strategies

Socio-professional groups

Semi-structured interviews

Encourages a holistic approach, easy to implement

Brings to surface conflicts between individual and collective strategies

Trend Analysis

Assess changes over time

Informants, elders, youths and women

In-depth discussion of specific issues or phenomena

Creates awareness of potential positive and negative trends, improves quantity and quality of information, permits comparison of trends

Relies on memory, tool is complex, local people may loose interest in the subject

SWOT Analysis more

Assess issue of concern, interventions or services; self-evaluation

Groups of elders, youths and women

Structured brainstorming

Stresses different sides of an issue, promotes group creativeness, issue discussed in detail, strengths and weaknesse easy to elicit

Opportunities and threats difficult to elicit, sensitive s topics and differences of opinion may arise, tendency by few to dominate

Validation and Feed back

Validate and synthesize information

All groups

Summarization, discussion and agreement

Consensus reached, encourages community attachment to subject

Minority view may be lost

Poverty Profiling

Characterization, localization, numeration and description of groups of poor people

All groups of poor

Search, semi-structured interviews

Analytical instruments directly linked to action, provides answers to why people are poor, formulates actions to reduce poverty

Relies on memory, brings to surface conflicts between individual and collective strategies, some topics too sensitive

FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
39 Phra Athit Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Previous Page Top of Page