Using questionnaires based on the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries as diagnostic tools in support of fisheries management

FAO/FishCode Review No. 21

Using questionnaires based
on the Code of Conduct for
Responsible Fisheries as
diagnostic tools in support
of fisheries management

Based on the work of:
John F. Caddy

edited by:
J. Eric Reynolds and Gunilla Tegelskr Greig

Global Partnerships for Responsible Fisheries (FishCode)

Rome, 2007

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ISBN 978-92-5-105867-1

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© FAO 2007


This report is based on a preliminary manuscript prepared by Mr John F. Caddy, FAO Consultant, which was presented and discussed at a Fisheries and Aquaculture Department seminar held at FAO on 14 February 2007. The manuscript was subsequently edited and revised by Mr J. Eric Reynolds and Ms Gunilla Tegelskr Greig (FishCode Programme, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department). Dr Miguel Angel Cisneros and Dr Alejandro Rodrguez of the World Wildlife Fund Mexico Gulf of California Program, and Drs John Kaneko, Paul Bartram and George Krasnick (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hawaii Seafood Project) of PacMar Inc., Honolulu, are gratefully acknowledged for their valuable input and cooperation in the production of this report. Thanks are also due to a number of FAO colleagues who reviewed the preliminary manuscript and offered constructive criticisms and suggestions both during and after the February 2007 seminar, and to Ms Franoise Schatto (FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department) and Mr Luca Limongelli (FishCode Programme) for their assistance with print preparation.

The FishCode Review series publishes results of studies, missions, consultations, workshops, meetings and other project activities undertaken through the Programme, in furtherance of the objective of facilitating implementation of the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and related international fisheries instruments and plans of action. Individual issues in the series are distributed to appropriate governments, regional bodies, meeting participants and Programme partners. For further information on Programme background, publications and activities, please consult the Web site

Caddy, J.F.; Reynolds, J.E. (ed.); Tegelskr Greig, G. (ed.).
Using questionnaires based on the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries as diagnostic tools in support of fisheries management.
FAO/FishCode Review. No. 21. Rome, FAO. 2007. 109p.


Although the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (the Code) is not a legallybinding instrument, it represents a consensus between countries as to the features that should characterize systems designed to ensure sustainable use of fishery resources. This report provides a series of questionnaires corresponding as closely as possible to clauses from Articles 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the Code, which can form the basis for a practical method of evaluating compliance of national or local fisheries with its provisions. The general questionnaire approach parallels the procedures used by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and provides a way of converting statements of principle in a global instrument including a legal framework, into a semi-quantitative form that can be more easily used in a multidisciplinary fisheries evaluation of management performance. Emphasis is placed on displaying the results of questionnaires in an easily understandable form and how these may be incorporated into decision-making. Approaches that could be used in operationalizing the Code are discussed, using examples where the Code has been applied in questionnaire form for evaluating fisheries objectives described by its different Articles. Other assessment approaches used for related purposes are included for reference. For example, protocols are suggested for evaluating performance in relation to ecosystem management, fisheries co-management and stock recovery strategies, based on the FAO Technical Guidelines for the Code, workshop experience and the fisheries literature. Different formats and procedures are provided, and some of the problems encountered are described. The use of questionnaires to promote adherence to the Codes provisions are discussed using several practical applications. The focus is mainly on applications of the Code at the grassroots level by local fisheries management authorities operating within national fisheries jurisdictions. Attached to the inside back cover is a copy of a CD-ROM containing excerpt questionnaires for ease of use.

Keywords: Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, fisheries management,
                 compliance,monitoring, assessment