Small-scale fisheries provide important contributions to the livelihoods of poor people in developing countries through income, food security and protein and micro-nutrient availability. However, there has been a lack of tools for supporting management of these fisheries, especially in developing countries where there is a lack of historical data, capacity and financial resources to undertake traditional stock assessments and data collection. ParFish fills this gap by providing a resource efficient stock assessment technique that does not require long-term time series data, can be applied with limited resources to provide a starting point for management decisions and involves the resource users in setting management objectives, data collection and management planning.
The purpose of the project was to increase uptake of the PFSA (now ParFish) methodology for data-poor, artisanal fisheries in developing countries so that stock assessment institutions can more effectively collect, share and analyse information with relevant stakeholders to improve fishery dependent livelihoods. The main objective was to develop a strategy and supporting materials to promote the ParFish methodology created under FMSP (R7947). The project developed a Toolkit to support the use of ParFish that consists of a framework and guidance on implementing ParFish, carrying out data collection, feedback and participatory planning activities; user-friendly Software for data entry and stock assessment analysis; and, a Software Manual providing step-by-step guidance on using the Software.
The ParFish Toolkit was tested in Zanzibar through a case study, which served to further develop and refine the toolkit, and increase the capacity of IMS and other institutions involved in the implementation of ParFish. The project also promoted the uptake and further support of ParFish through its communication activities, which included dissemination of project flyers, presentations, meetings, articles and training events at national (Tanzania and Zanzibar), regional (East Africa) and international levels, and the production of proposals for further funding of ParFish activities.
This project contributes to DFID's development objectives through the provision of baseline information and improved data collection systems which involve communities, a demand identified in the FMSP East Africa Strategy paper (DFID, 2002). The methodology provides a starting point for adaptive and participatory management involving the resource users. This helps promote good governance of fisheries and empowerment of the resource users who become more involved in decisions which affect their livelihoods, have their voices heard, and build links with the institutions responsible for supporting resource management.
The outcome of implementing the ParFish approach is expected to be more sustainable resource use and management, which will support the continued contribution of fisheries resources to the livelihoods of the rural poor, and thus help their way out of poverty.
Marine Resources Assessment Group Ltd, London, UK, 73 pp.