Progress on the Global Strategy Research Topic “Improving Collection Methods for Small-Scale Fisheries”

Small-scale operators are key contributors to local food security, poverty alleviation and to providing livelihoods, however, monitoring their production and accurately measuring their contribution to local foods, livelihoods and economy is extremely challenging in the field of fishery and aquaculture.

The research topic “Identifying the appropriate indicators and collection methods for small-scale fisheries” led by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Statistics and Information Branch of FAO (FIPS) attempts to find a pragmatic solution to improve overall understanding on the actual contribution of small-scale fisheries to the rural community. The principle concept of this topic is the same as the Global Strategy – to improve the quality of knowledge by establishing a connection and comparing existing information and data collection systems.

There are two main components under this research topic: i) to develop proper guidelines to establish master sampling framework (i.e. development of standard census survey modules for fisheries and aquaculture), and ii) to establish a strategy and general guidelines to connect master data and the sampling framework with the existing data collection and monitoring systems.

For the first component, a draft of the aquaculture and capture fishery census survey modules has been developed. Those survey modules follow the principle concepts adopted by the World Census of Agriculture. Countries would design their own census surveys by selecting appropriate modules and types of questions in specific categories according to their policy needs and interests as well as availability of funds. In this respect, the guidelines clarify that not only categories can be combined as best fits, but also specific items from within categories can be extracted and combined. Currently, the draft guidelines of those survey modules are being reviewed by internal experts.

The second component aims to provide a basic strategy and procedure to effectively utilize outcomes of census surveys to further design and adjust regular data collection systems as well as to connect information obtained from the various existing data collection frameworks, including administrative data, information collected for monitoring and management at communal, sub-national and national level and ad-hoc focused surveys such as project case studies. The proposed approach translates all data items collected by the various systems into a set of common conceptual items in general accordance with those adopted by the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting 2012 of the United Nations.

FIPS is currently developing the Global Data Framework in support of the Blue Growth initiative which aims to achieve sustainable use of aquatic fish resources and environment. Achievements of the research activity will be incorporated into this broader framework, as well as the Global Strategy.

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