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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  • Progress Report. October 1 to December 31, 2016. USAID/Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project. Coastal Resources Center 31 December 2016

    This progress report details the activities, results, and lessons learned during the first quarter of Year 3 (October 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016). It also explains how partners significantly contributed to the achievement of set targets and how these achievements will be sustained to meet the overarching goal of the USAID/Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project.

  • Maiden Meeting of Western Region Fisheries Working Group (W/R-FWG), 2015 Friends of the Nation 1 May 2015

    The members of the Western Regional Fisheries Working Group met at the Conference Room of the Fisheries Commission, Takoradi. This meeting sought to ensure a continued support for the Western Region Fisheries Working Group (W/R FWG). The W/R FWG was formed during the previous USAID supported ‘Integrated Coastal Fisheries Governance (ICFG) Initiative’ to serve an advisory role to the region's Fisheries Directorate. The Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) decided to continue supporting the group.

  • Baseline Study on Women in Leadership Roles within SFMP Fisheries Stakeholder Groups Okyere-Nyako, A., Nsiah, A. 1 June 2016

    The main issue the survey aims to address is the low involvement of women in the management of fishery resources in Ghana. Though women are engaged in almost all aspects of fishery, from net to plate, their involvement in decision making and control over is limited. The absence of a holistic approach to the management of fishery resources affects the effectiveness of the management of the resource. The report recommends providing continuous leadership training such as the honam dialogue for the associations. It encourages affirmative action in male dominated groups in the fisheries industry. Another entry point for the inclusion of women as leaders in the fishery sector is through the FC staff, who offer technical support to the fishermen on the management of the landing beaches. The survey also encourages groups/associations to work under the affiliation of NAFPTA Finally the report recommends providing continuous capacity development for associations on governance, organization, a united voice, advocacy, and sustainability of their structures.

  • Fishing Community Livelihood Value Chain Development and Post-harvest Improvements: An Extension Strategy for the Scale-up of Improved Smoker Technologies Coast-wide. SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Central and Western Region Fishmongers Improvement Association, and Coastal Resources Center 1 October 2016

    Fish processing is the main economic activity for women living in and around the coastal and lake areas of Ghana. Preservation methods include salting, frying and freezing, but smoking is the most prevalent form: practically all species of fish available in the country can be smoked and it is estimated that 75% of the domestic marine and freshwater catch is processed this way. Poor product quality and unhygienic handling practices are a major concern in the local fish processing industry. The illegal use of chemicals and explosives in fishing are a major contributor to poor quality of fish caught. The smoking and drying techniques of the Chorkor stove have limitations that deserve greater attention in order to significantly improve livelihoods of small-scale fishers and respond effectively to product safety challenges – especially linked to controlling contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), a public health hazard. PAH are carcinogenic, fat soluble, nonvolatile and extremely persistent, and develop especially during the incomplete combustion of organic materials.

  • Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) Pilot Project Christopher Damon 1 December 2015

    To highlight the utility of UAV imagery for evaluating the health and preparedness of coastal ecosystems and infrastructure, a series of pilot studies (Figure 1) were conducted for priority areas identified through the USAID-funded Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP): • Mapping the fisheries value chain and economic development along the waterfront (Axim) • Shoreline change and vulnerability of coastal infrastructure (Sanwoma) • Wetland delineation and encroachment monitoring (Iture) The purpose of these pilots was to demonstrate to project partners how a UAV platform operates, the quality of the imagery than can be captured and the value these products hold for deriving additional data that can feed the policy and decision-making processes.