SNAPP TEAM:Data-limited Fisheries
Can new, inexpensive science-based tools for assessing and managing data-limited fisheries be widely implemented to help end overfishing?

Overfishing threatens many of the world’s fish stocks — and the millions who rely on fish for their food and livelihoods. Reliably managed fisheries suffer less overfishing, but more than 90 percent of Earth’s fisheries currently lack effective management. Scientists have developed innovative approaches to assess and manage fisheries despite limited data and resources. Managers and scientists need to work together to ensure widespread adoption of these approaches and bring them into the mainstream.


OUR APPROACH: This group assembled fish stock assessors, social scientists, ecologists, and marine conservation practitioners to evaluate the problems of data-limited fisheries and build a framework to solve it.

Team Status: COMPLETED
Team Critical Challenges: Ocean Sustainability, Food and Freshwater


FishPath is a decision-making software application that provides fisheries managers with a step-by-step guide to select monitoring, assessment, and management methods for their fishery. It is now the most comprehensive toolkit for data-limited fisheries. Researchers launched this tool during pilot projects in Peru and Kenya, and its successful use has sparked interest by other governments around the world. If widely applied, FishPath will help ensure that nations can adequately assess and manage their fisheries, thereby improving both conservation and economic outcomes.




“The user-friendly FishPath software facilitates direct and process-oriented engagement with fisheries stakeholders.”

– Carmen Revenga, Project co-Leader



Key Products
The FishPath approach for fisheries management in a data- and capacity-limited world

This article presents the process and decision-support tool, FishPath, to guide the identification of suitable harvest strategy component options for fisheries in data- and capacity- limited situations.

FishPath website

This overview website describes how the FishPath tool works (also  see the tool user guide).

Fisheries management guidebook for non-fisheries managers

This guidebook helps conservationists improve the management of marine resources by providing a broad overview of fisheries management.

Market solutions for lessening economic impacts of marine reserves

This study investigates a suite of market-based strategies for mitigating the short‐term economic losses associated with designating marine reserves.

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