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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  • Trainer Of Trainers (TOT) Course For Marine Police and Fisheries Enforcement Unit Supervisors Friends of the Nation 1 August 2017

    FoN in conjunction with the United Nations Office on Drug Control, (UNODC) conducted an 8-day training Trainer of Trainers (ToT) course to equip 26 Marine Police personnel. The main objective of the Trainer of Trainers (ToT) workshop was to equip participants with key Knowledge, skills and Attitude (KSA) in fisheries enforcement and maritime security so that the trainees could facilitate knowledge transfer to new recruits and other police personnel.

  • Conference on Fisheries and Coastal Environment, Accra, 2017, Book of Abstracts. The Changing Marine Fisheries and Coasts: Challenges and Opportunities for Changing Minds. University of Cape Coast 27 September 2017

    The Centre for Coastal Management (CCM) and the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island (USA) and the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development organised this maiden conference. This initiative is designed to strengthen policy linkages and enable researchers, journalists, and think tanks connect their voices to the sustainable fisheries and coastal development agenda of Ghana. The conference provided an opportunity for a more holistic discussion on a resource that is shared by millions of people, yet, under threat and mismanaged. The conference featured panel discussions, keynote presentations and session papers. There was also an opportunity for industry and market players to showcase their latest technologies. A communique for the conference can be found here: .

  • COMMUNIQUE from the Conference on Fisheries and Coastal Environment, Accra, 2019. University of Cape Coast 21 August 2019

    The 2nd Conference on Fisheries and Coastal Environment (CFCE Accra 2019) was held in Accra from 19th to 21st August 2019. The conference was attended by 282 participants drawn from Ghanaian universities, epresentatives from the USAID Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) with the University of Rhode Island, USA, Fisheries and Aquaculture Society of Ghana, Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea, Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Bank’s West Africa Coastal Areas Management Program, government ministries and agencies, private sector, civil society, research institutions, fisheries associations, fishermen, fishmongers and the media. The conference recognized -the national importance of marine and coastal ecosystems and fisheries to the people of Ghana providing livelihood for 2 million people and contributing 4.5% to the national GDP; -the importance of fish for the national food security strategy and livelihood; -that the fish stock is at an alarming stage and on the verge of collapsing; -the significant contribution and opportunity of the blue economy to the socio-economic development of Ghana; -the need for political will to include civil society in decision making for better fisheries and coastal the management -the need for regional collaboration among neighbouring countries; -the pollution and degradation of the coastal environment; and -the growing menace of pollution, particularly plastic wastes in our seas and made 12 specific recommendations to address these concerns.

  • COMMUNIQUE from the Conference on Fisheries and Coastal Environment, Accra, 2017. University of Cape Coast 27 September 2017

    Scientists from Ghana’s universities and research institutions, civil society, private sector, fishermen and fishmongers, government ministries and agencies, representatives from the USAID Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) of the University of Rhode Island, USA in all numbering 240, convened in Accra for the first Conference on Fisheries and Coastal Environment (CFCE), referred to as the Accra Conference 2017. Scientists and researchers made oral presentations on fifty-two (52) specific research topics and seventeen (17) posters. There were also four (4) keynote presentations delivered by key industry experts followed by panel discussions in plenary sessions. Five (5) special sessions and breakout working groups deliberated on topics such as Sustaining Fisheries & Coastal Research and Extension, Opportunities and Actions in the Post-Harvest Sector, Community-Based Fisheries Management, Child Labour and Trafficking in Ghana, Fisheries Stock Assessment and Current Status of Dwindling Food-Fish Stocks. Based on the deliberations, and considering the national importance of coastal ecosystems and fisheries to the people of Ghana, a number of specific recommendations were made.

  • Progress Report: Assessing the Biological Effects Of The Fisheries Closed Season Implemented For The Artisanal And Semi-Industrial Fisheries in Ghana, 2019 Lazar, N., Darko, C., Ansong, E., Boateng, K. 1 October 2019

    The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD) implemented a one month fishing ban for artisanal and semi-industrial fisheries from May 15 to June 15, 2019 to protect the spawning brood stock of small pelagic species, mainly Sardinella aurita, Sardinella maderensis, Engraulis encrasicolus and Scomber colias and reduce fishing effort on these stocks. Following the closed season declaration, the Fisheries Scientific Survey Division of the Fisheries Commission (FC/FSSD) in coordination with the STWG and with the support of the USAID/Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP), established a monitoring and evaluation plan to assess the biological and socio-economic effects of the closed season and report the findings back to MOFAD. This report is a progress report on the biological effects of the closed season implemented from May 15 to June 15, 2019