(1) Fisheries enhancement through the release of hatchery fish is widely used in inland and increasingly, coastal fisheries. Enhancements can generate significant benefits for the poor, but the approach is often used ineffectively. The reasons for this include institutional issues associated with regulating harvest and sustaining investment in stocking, as well as the technical problem of optimizing stocking and harvesting regimes for local natural, institutional socio-economic conditions.
(2) Previous projects supported by the DFID Fisheries Management Science Programme have addressed the full breadth of these issues and developed quantitative methods for optimizing stocking and harvesting regimes as well as adaptive learning approaches that integrate scientific analyses with stakeholder experimentation and learning.
(3) The purpose of the project was to improve the effectiveness of pro-poor fisheries enhancement initiatives in S and SE Asia improved through development and promotion of a decision support tool enabling a wide range of target end users to apply quantitative assessment methods developed in the previous projects.
(4) The project's key output is the EnhanceFish decision support toolkit for the analysis of aquaculture-based fisheries enhancements. The EnhanceFish toolkit consists of three parts
a) The EnhanceFish decision tool: a software package for quantitative assessment of enhanced fisheries
b) The EnhanceFish manual: a technical manual that explains the scientific principles behind the EnhanceFish package and its use in assessment
c) The EnhanceFish guide: practical guidance on how to use EnhanceFish in the panning and management of enhancements, particularly in developing countries
(5) In addition to developing the main decision support toolkit, the project has developed a number of auxiliary tools, including a methodology for analysing release experiments.
(6) Key elements of the decision tool and toolkit have been tested in a workshop with 20 target end users from seven Asian countries. The workshop has demonstrated that the tool fills an important gap in the suite of assessment tools available to fisheries managers, and meets the requirements of target end users.
(7) EnhanceFish provides the first quantitative assessment tool for aquaculture-based fisheries, as well as the most integrated interdisciplinary framework for analysis. As such the project makes a major contribution to the tools and approaches available to fisheries scientists and managers in the developing world.
(8) Project outputs have been, and continue to be disseminated widely through websites, a discussion forum, policy briefs, the tool with guide and manual, and technical publications.