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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  • COMMUNIQUE Fisheries Stakeholder Engagement 2020 Fisher–2–Fisher (F2F) Dialogues Process Ghana National Canoe Fishermen’s Council and Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development 1 March 2020

    The overall objective of the F2F dialogue process was to create a platform for all fisheries stakeholders to interact and discuss issues pertaining to the sector and reach consensus on key policy decisions and strengthen collaboration between fisheries managers and fishers (resources harvesters and processors). Taking cognizance of the existing and emerging policy and management concerns within the fisheries sector, the 2020 F2F dialogue processes focused on the following issues: • Implementation of the 2020 Closed Season for all fleets including the selection of the most opportune period for this year’s fishing closed season, based on available scientific data, with the view of increasing recruitment of juvenile fish species in order to rebuild the depleted fish stock. • Implementation of the Canoe Identification Card (CIC) System associated with the establishment a moratorium on new entrants to the marine canoe sector. • Preparatory arrangements for the implementation of the Fisheries Co-Management Policy. • Eradication of Illegal transshipment (saiko). The Deliberations among stakeholders reached five key points of agreement.

  • Status of the small pelagic stocks in Ghana in 2019. Scientific and Technical Working Group Lazar, N., Yankson, K., Blay, J., Ofori-Danson, P., Markwei, P., Agbogah, K., Bannerman, P., Sotor, M., Yamoah, K. K., Bilisini, W. B. 1 November 2020

    This report provides an update of the status of the small pelagic fish stocks of Ghana through 2019. It was led by the FSSD, reviewed and validated by the Science and Technical Working Group (STWG). Annual landings of Sardinella aurita have declined from 119515 tonnes. in 1992 to 11,834 tonnes in 2019. This represented only 9.9% of the highest recorded landings. This drastic decline in landings is caused largely by the artisanal fishing fleet, which operates without proper management controls in an open access. In addition, the unit of effort of a canoe is more efficient today than in the past due to advanced technologies, modern fishing nets, powerful engines and big capital investments. For example, the average size of a purse seine was about 200-300 meters long in the 1970s but today it is 3 times larger - between 600-1000 meters in length and the average crew members on a canoe doubled from 10 to 20 fishermen. Canoe gross tonnage and capacity increased by 2.5 fold (from 2 to 5 metric tons) while the Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE) declined dramatically and the cost and timing of a fishing trip increased as fishermen spend more time searching for fish offshore.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (Revised July and Updated November, 2020) Coastal Resources Center 29 December 2020

    The M&E Plan includes two major components. First is the Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP) and its associated indicator reporting which is tied to the project goal and intermediate results. Second is a knowledge management and learning strategy to communicate and share information, results, and lessons—and solicit input and feedback for adaptive management. This approach will optimize the project’s performance and ensure accountability to USAID, Ghanaian and American people. The M&E Plan including the PMP, represents the overarching results framework, indicators, targets, and plan for data quality assurance. It describes the process for developing rapid assessments and baselines, which will form the basis for subsequent routine monitoring, periodic assessments and subsequent learning and adaptive management. The PMP lays out a calendar of performance management tasks, describes how data is collected and how the project will assess the limitations and quality of data. The document also details the plan for knowledge management and learning.

  • Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Annual Report. October 1, 2019- September 30, 2020 Coastal Resources Center 29 December 2020

    Environmental Compliance is a mandatory requirement for all USAID-funded programs, to ensure project activities do not have significant impact on the environment. USAID Implementing Partners are obligated to consider throughout the life of project, environmental impacts arising from its activities. During the FY 2020 of the SFMP, all USAID environmental requirements laid down in the project Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Plan (EMMP) were complied with to ensure no significant impact on the environment from activity implementation.

  • A Compilation of USAID/Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project Success Stories: 2014- 2020 Coastal Resources Center 29 December 2020

    Throughout the implementation of the USAID/Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (2014 to 2021) a variety of information, education and communication materials were produced. This document compiles “success stories” and “Telling Our Story” materials submitted to USAID as part of quarterly and annual reports as well as on topics of special interest. These stories are organized by the key themes of the project, as described in detail in the two-volume Lessons Learned report produced in 2019. Readers should consult Volume 1 ( for a description of the approach and accomplishments in Legal and Policy Reform, Co-Management and Constituency-Building, Science for Management and Institutional Strengthening. Volume 2 ( covers Post-Harvest Improvements, Gender Mainstreaming and Combating Child Labor and Trafficking. Both volumes also include links to selected reports on each topic.