Fisheries and Aquaculture

Fisheries and Aquaculture

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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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  • Small Pelagic Fisheries Profile: Preliminary Analysis of Regional Results Lazar N., Asare C., Nortey D. D. N., Kankam S., & Agbogah K. 1 January 2015

    This report is the preliminary result of regional analyses for the small pelagic fisheries profile under the USAID-funded Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) in Ghana. The overall objectives of the small pelagic fisheries profile are to guide fishery management strategies, potential fisheries capacity control and reduction plans, economic development initiatives (post-harvest), infrastructure investments and community and marine fisheries spatial planning and support Fisheries Commission with updated information on both fishermen and fish processors.

  • Vulnerability Assessment for Axim Fish Landing Site, Nzema East District Adams, O., Kankam, S., Owusu Donkor, P. 1 June 2016

    This assessment focuses on investigating the vulnerability of fish processing infrastructure in Axim to the impacts of flooding and evolving sea level rise as a result of climate change. In addition, economic impacts of flooding and evolving sea level rise on fishing households and infrastructure are also assessed. The assessment takes into account the overall planning context in the Nzema East Municipal Assembly and how this influences decisions and choices for building coastal resilience.

  • Stakeholder Participation and Social Network Baseline and Year 2 Report Asare, M., Corvese, C., Long, N., Odjidja, E., Robadue, D., Wallace, K. 1 May 2017

    This report draws upon the event participation and contact information to trace the growth of stakeholder engagement related to SFMP activities. In addition to the cumulative number of individuals and encounters, the data has been analyzed to determine how many new individuals—men and women—are becoming involved over time. In addition, we explore whether it is possible to document shifts over time in the levels of engagement of women in policy-related events compared to livelihood related training and meetings, to see if elements of success in implementing the SFMP gender strategy for increasing women’s engagement in policy can be detected. Finally, we utilize approaches employed in social network analysis to draw additional insights out of this routine information in terms of actors who are more central or well-placed to foster or block information exchange. Some results of this exercise are also presented.

  • The Daily Graphic: Revamp the Fisheries Sector Asiedu-Addo, Shirley 30 November 2015

    The implementation of the SFMP has committed to ensuring that the nation rebuilds its stocks. A forum organized discussed the effective implementation of the national marine fisheries management plan, a national policy for the management of the marine fisheries sector.

  • Momentum-Research & innovation- Lives in the Balance: Protecting our Planet’s Coastal Communities Mason, B 1 April 2015

    Last October, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded a $24 million grant — the largest in URI’s history — to the CRC to lead a five-year sustainable fisheries project in Ghana, West Africa. The objective of the USAID/Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project is to rebuild key marine fisheries stocks through responsible fishing practices. The project aims to set up a legal framework to protect the fisheries, develop more effective management plans and educate policymakers and the public.