In November 2012, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) set the terms of reference for a commissioned assessment of fisheries and aquaculture science. The task was to complete a ‘scoping review’, consisting of an in-depth assessment of the existing evidence related to fisheries and aquaculture activities in developing countries and their contribution to economic growth, food security and nutrition. For this the assessment was expected to identify the existing evidence and ‘evidence in the pipeline’ (i.e. to be published imminently) from the existing literature, compile it, and provide an assessment of the strength (in the sense, scientific rigor) of that evidence, and identify knowledge or evidence gaps. In addition the assessment was to be complemented by a mapping of existing relevant interventions in fisheries and aquaculture.