Inland Fisheries

Advisory Roundtable on the Assessment of Inland Fisheries, Rome, Italy 8-10 May 2018

Overview of inland fisheries

The two and a half day Advisory Roundtable was convened to contribute to FAO’s response to the request by the 32nd Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI), to i) advise FAO on its approach to developing a more comprehensive report on methods and data and analytical approach, which could be used to provide a credible, objective and replicable assessment of inland fisheries; and ii) provide guidance on tools that could be provided to member states seeking advice with respect to assessing the status of their inland fisheries (yield/production, threats & drivers), predicting future impacts and how to quantify the effect of mitigation/adaptation measures on fisheries.

The roundtable reviewed and discussed the background that had led up to the meeting to scrutinize the purpose of an assessment and the scope of coverage and how this could be used to determine the status of inland fisheries. It further developed the criteria to conduct such an assessment, and then attempted to apply the approach to a number of basins. This practical exercise was based on concrete examples from countries or basins with which the experts were familiar.

It was concluded by the roundtable, that the use of a dual index approach is the right way to go, and that it can be used to assess fisheries both at the national, basin, regional and globallevels although different levels of resolution will be required and may thus have somewhat different data requirements. Adding a valuation element will direct investment towards the fisheries that provides most benefit to society in the context of the priorities set at the national level. At the national level, data may include yields, catches, threats, and measures that can be used to estimate future adaptive capacity. For global level analysis an index approach will be necessary relying on “big” data. Any information system should be useful to serve, first and foremost, the countries that collect/analyse and provide the data. Reports to FAO that could be compiled into a global picture of the state of inland fisheries would be a valueadded product of this process. The national reports would also have utility in reporting on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals/Aichi Targets.