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The basic principles for developing the toolbox were first identified and discussed at the Workshop on a Toolbox for the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF), held in Rome, Italy, 26-29 February 2008 (FAO 2009). The EAF Toolbox is aimed at national and local fisheries management authorities, including fishery managers, scientists and stakeholders looking for practical solutions they can apply given their circumstances and resources.  By ensuring situations with low capacity are covered adequately, it is hoped that the toolbox will be seen as useful by all individuals, groups and sectors interested in the development of improved fisheries management systems to better generate positive community outcomes in each location.

The principles used to develop the tool box are that it has to:

  • Be adaptable and open to innovations and improvements being quickly incorporated.
  • Help users understand and move through each of the steps for implementing EAF and allow users with limited formal knowledge to participate.
  • Assist them choose tools appropriate for their situation, by summarising how each tool works and providing criteria such as cost, technical difficulty, level of participation and data requirements to assist selection.
  • Provide access to guiding information especially reports, case studies, guidelines, manuals etc especially those available by web links. Use of academic references in the text is limited but each of the tool factsheets has a list of useful additional readings.  

The factsheets presented in the EAF Toolbox are either standalone tools or summaries/portals to where more information is available for a major subject (e.g. stock assessment methods) each of which could probably benefit from having their own toolbox. Some of the factsheets are relatively comprehensive and ‘mature’ while others are still in a relatively rudimentary state. We would therefore appreciate suggested improvements to any of the factsheets presented but also submissions of any additional factsheets that you think would be of assistance to one or more key activities, particularly if they can be used in data and/or capacity limited situations.

 
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