Fisheries and Aquaculture

Fisheries and Aquaculture


Harvesting quahogs in the waters off Rhode Island. (RI Sea Grant)
Fishing boats return to Galilee Harbor in Narragansett, R.I. (credit: RI Sea Grant)
An oyster harvester in The Gambia (TRY Oyster Women’s Association)
An oyster harvester in The Gambia (credit: TRY Oyster Women’s Association)

CRC works to develop innovative methods of research, extension and outreach to sustainably manage valuable fisheries and aquaculture resources in Rhode Island, the United States and around the globe. CRC is recognized for taking an integrated approach that considers the entire fishery system—from management of sustainable harvests and early engagement of local stakeholders to added value for the supply chain and end users.

This approach includes improved governance solutions, ecosystem-based management, capacity development and collaborative and adaptive management plans. Through its position within the URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography and its partnerships with the College of the Environment and Life Sciences and other university entities, CRC is able to call on a wealth of knowledge from world-class researchers to bring the best-available science to its work, applying a learning-by-doing approach that affords rapid responses to changing realities.

As the world’s burgeoning population turns to the sea for food security, many nations aquaculture—farming of seafood, pearls, ornamentals and plants—to supplement wild catch. When developed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, aquaculture can provide food, employment and income. If not developed properly, aquaculture can negatively impact critical coastal ecosystems and pose risks to human health. For three decades, CRC has been assisting governments and industry in nations around the world to develop responsible aquaculture through best management practices, private partnerships, public zoning and regulations.

CRC’s approach emphasizes responsible coastal management and sound environmental planning to minimize user conflicts and environmental impacts. It engages policymakers, aquaculture associations, fishing communities and civil society.

Our guiding principles: Fisheries

  • Through decades of experience and lessons learned, CRC has developed these guidelines regarding sustainable fisheries:
  • Ground the conception, execution and management of programs on sound science
  • Create inherently flexible management plans for adaptation to complex and constantly evolving needs
  • Create results-oriented programs, describing how impacts will be measured and monitored
  • Conduct monitoring and reporting in a timely manner so that responsive action can be taken
  • Involve both harvest and post-harvest segments of the industry in management and decision making
  • Promote ecosystem resilience for goods and services that conserve biodiversity
  • Promote marketing of sustainably sourced, socially responsible and high quality seafood products
  • Where appropriate, help fisheries transition from open-access and combine managed access, alternative livelihoods, collaborative management and rights-based approaches for lasting success
  • Promote engagement of all stakeholders
  • Promote social responsibility and equity as key objectives, including fair labor practices, fair prices and safe working conditions
  • Develop and adopt codes of conduct and best management practices

Our guiding principles: Sustainable aquaculture

  • Conduct feasibility studies, environmental impact assessment and financial analysis at the individual operation and ecosystem level prior to establishing and expanding a new project or testing new species production
  • Properly site the operation to reduce environmental, natural hazard and social impacts
  • Identify and protect key ecosystems that need to be conserved to ensure resource sustainability—a fundamental tool of land use management
  • Following best management practices while maintaining a sound and healthy ecosystem to achieve long-term sustainability
  • Consider potential off-site impacts of aquaculture siting, construction, and production and mitigate by maintaining adequate buffer zones and the natural environment surrounding the site as much as possible
  • Pay attention to capacity building of institutions and coordination of agencies responsible for enforcing regulations, permitting and licensing
  • Work to streamline government policy where there are overlapping, duplicative or outdated regulations and unclear agency responsibilities
  • Use practical exercises and demonstrations as well as extension services to promote best practices
  • Develop operational guides and extension materials to make information readily accessible and improve knowledge for the people who most need it
  • Apply technology that is appropriate to the knowledge, experience and capacity of producers and the local context
  • Ensure that the aquaculture industry is integrated into public decision-making processes at all levels so as to minimize undue burdens from cumbersome permitting and licensing requirements
  • Educate the wider public about the practices of aquaculture to dispel myths and help ease and minimize use conflicts
  • Facilitate dialogue with the aquaculture industry, lawmakers and other stakeholders to prioritize science needs, monitoring and best practices for all elements of the aquaculture value chain



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  • Rapport Trimestriel N0-2 1 Janvier 2018 – 31 Mars 2018 1 April 2018

    L’objectif du projet USAID/COMFISH Plus est d’appuyer les efforts du Gouvernement du Sénégal visant à réformer le secteur de la pêche et à augmenter la résilience des communautés de pêcheurs et leurs moyens d’existence. Cela passe par le renforcement des conditions préalables nécessaires à l’amélioration de la gouvernance des pêcheries, l’accès à la science pour appuyer les processus de prise de décision, l’identification et l’adoption de mesures contribuant à améliorer la résilience au changement climatique.

  • Year Five Work Plan, October 1, 2018 to October 29, 2019 Coastal ResourcesCenter 1 October 2018

    There are funding challenges that are reflected in the Year 5 work plan. On July 10, 2018 SFMP submitted a pipeline request for funding of US$ 2,598,917. On August 23, 2018 USAID informed SFMP that a budget modification would be made to provide US$1,750,00 in additional funding with the possibility that no additional funding would be available until March 31, 2019.This work plan reflects programming of the entire amount currently obligated through March 31, 2019.The project will require an additional obligation in FY 19,prior to April 1, 2019 of US$1,592,550 to carry SFMP activities through closeout of the project by Oct 29, 2019.

  • Advanced Training in the Application of GIS using practical field work in the preparation of the ICM Toolkit Spatial Solutions and Hen Mpoano 1 July 2017

    The main objective of the training was to provide participants with advanced skills in GIS, Remote Sensing and GPS data collection strategies for the effective planning and decision making relative to the management of coastal resources.

  • Status of the small pelagic stocks in Ghana (2015) Lazar, N, Yankson K, Blay J., Ofori-Danson P., Markwei P., Agbogah K., Bannerman P., Sotor M., Yamoa K. K., Bilisini W. B. 1 July 2017

    This document is aimed at providing the status of the small pelagic fish resources in Ghana, through consultation with the Scientific and Technical Working Group (STWG) of the USAID/Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP). The information contained in this document has been obtained from the Fisheries Scientific and Survey Division of the Fisheries Commission of Ghana and other available information. The current fishing effort seems to be well beyond the level of sustainability for the small pelagic stocks. In the absence of effort control measures, stocks will continue to decline with diminishing economic returns leading to further deterioration of social conditions. The Fisheries Commission began addressing this situation with the support of the World Bank by registering small artisanal canoes. The semi-industrial and the industrial fishing vessels have been subject to an annual registration and licensing requirements. Furthermore, it is expected that the canoe registration will be followed by a program of licensing and ultimately an implementation of effort control program in the artisanal fishery.

  • SFMP Progress Report. April 1 To June 30, 2018 Coastal Resources Center 1 July 2018

    This progress report details activities, results, and lessons learned during the third quarter of Project Year 4 (FY18). It also explains how partners contributed to the achievement of targets and how these achievements will be sustained to meet the overarching goal of SFMP.