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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  • 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.

  • Strategy on Anti-Child Labor and Trafficking in Fisheries The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD) 1 July 2018

    Child Labor and Trafficking (CLaT) is a major global problem that governments, civil society and development partners show grave concern about because of its devastating impact on society. The ILO's 2008 estimates asserts that about 60 percent of the 215 million boys and girls engaged in child labor occur in the agricultural sector (including fishing, aquaculture, livestock and forestry) while UNIDOC reports that a total of 161 countries are identified to be affected by human trafficking by either being a source, transit or destination country. US Department of State data indicates that an estimated 600,000 to 820,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders yearly, with approximately 50 percent being minors.

  • Assessment of the Feasibility of Producing Healthy Fish for the Ghanaian Market E. Kwarteng;A. Nsiah;G. Tibu;H. Etsra 1 September 2017

    The research intended to provide insights into the financial and technical feasibility of producing healthy fish for the Ghanaian market by: Identifying available market for healthy fish. Determining the percentage of fish processors, traders and consumers who were aware of the implications of smoked fish. Identifying what clients, consider when purchasing smoked fish. Identifying the factors necessary for the production of a healthy smoked fish. Determining the percentage of fish processors who are willing to change ways of processing fish to make it healthier. Identifying some push factors and conditions that would be considered by fish processors before producing healthy fish. Determining the percentage of consumers who are willing to pay more for healthy smoked fish.