Data-poor Fisheries Assessment

More than 90% of global fisheries are considered too small or data-poor for assessment with existing quantitative assessment models. With a series of groundbreaking studies, some still being published, Dr Prince has established fisheries can be assessed just with simple size studies slashing assessment costs by $100,000 to $million per stock.

The approach estimates the rate of spawning relative to unfished levels (spawning per recruit – SPR) rather than biomass trends, and incrementally adjusts fishing pressure to discover catch levels that stabilize stocks at management targets. Requiring only simple size studies the technique makes $5000 stock assessments possible, reducing a major impediment for data-poor fisheries. Serendipitously the new approach easily incorporates the management effects of Marine Protected Areas and facilitates implementing the Risk-Catch-Cost framework to fisheries management.

Funded by the David & Lucille Packard Foundation and The Nature Conservancy Dr Prince is working with the Marine Stewardship Council to establish a new certifiable standard for data-poor assessment, which they are implementing in case studies fisheries in every ocean basin.

Beach Head Communities

In Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Sri Lanka and California, partnerships have been formed with NGOs, communities and fisheries agencies; and beachhead communities have been established that are committed to collecting length and maturity data to assess their coral reef fish and interested in implementing simple forms of sustainable management.

In each country the cross-section of society trained through the process creates local champions empowered to work across the tiers of their society for change.

Read more information on each project by country:

Papua New Guinea
Solomon Islands
Sri Lanka