About Rapfish

Rapfish is a rapid appraisal technique that estimates the status of fisheries. It uses a scoring technique on attributes (= indicators). Fisheries are put in rank order, or placed on a 2-D graph, using a statistical technique.

The standard version of Rapfish evaluates fisheries sustainability along multiple performance modalities: e.g., ecological, technological, economic, social, institutional and ethical; some of these fields are hierarchical, for example, a subfield under 'institutional' evaluates the legality of a fishery.

NOTE: Only attributes that relate to sustainability (or the desired goal) are employed: it is a normative method

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Other versions test compliance with the FAO (UN) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries or other set of standards.

There are therefore less problems with the normative approach, compared to the standard Rapfish

The tool is mathematically robust, scalable, and provides a holistic account of specific fisheries, while also providing a platform to test hypotheses on coupled human and natural systems.

Does not need formal measurements as ATTRIBUTES are scored.

Scores can be assigned by experts, individuals, communities

Continuous and categorical measures can be mixed.

Rapfish is multidisciplinary - Analysis can be carried out in number of EVALUATION FIELDS.

Uncertainty in scores and results can be included using Monte Carlo techniques

Standard ATTRIBUTES can be tailored for particular circumstances

Rapfish has become quite widely adopted by the international community (see Published Papers), and has recently improved its coverage of the human dimensions of fisheries. See Human Dimension Project.

Photos in header taken by TJP. LEFT Bottom trawlers in Kinsale harbour, western Ireland; largely built with government subsidies and heavily implicated in unreported catches and discards. RIGHT small scale fishing vessels in Sagres harbour, Portugal: five sizes of vessels co-exist in this harbour.