What is FishKit?
FishKit is an online toolkit that blossomed from the collective experiences of fisheries practitioners. While working with fishing communities, it became clear that many opportunities for fishery improvement are within reach for small-scale and coastal fisheries. These opportunities centered around development of practical management measures along with support for fishery monitoring. FishKit was created to serve as an easy to use and unified resource addressing these common themes. FishKit distills the latest in fisheries science to aid communities in monitoring and protecting their fisheries.
FishKit & FishPath
FishKit is a sister toolkit to FishPath. FishPath is an engagement process that uses the FishPath decision-support tool and targeted training to identify management options through stakeholder engagement. The FishPath decision support tool consists primarily of a questionnaire that guides users towards options for fishery monitoring, stock assessment, and management measures. FishKit builds upon this foundation by using fisheries science concepts to create opportunities for decision making. FishKit can be utilized within an existing management process or can be utilized within the FishPath engagement process.
Like FishPath, FishKit is designed for audience engagement. Elegant and interactive visualizations make the tool accessible to technical and non-technical audiences alike (1). We are passionate about this approach because accessibility of information lies at the heart of achieving meaningful management action. FishKit enables scientific evaluation and visualization of management measures in real-time, with analysis reflecting direct input from audience members. Thus, FishKit brings together fishery science and local perspectives to inform analysis, placing decision-making capacity in the hands of fishing communities. This produces unique opportunities for alignment between scientific guidance, local knowledge and other place-based considerations.
Behind the Tool
At its core, FishKit is based on the foundations of fishery science and community engagement. The Size Limit Builder for example assists users with the well-established practice of managing sizes in the catch in relation to size at maturity, to help ensure population replenishment while conserving ‘pretty good yields’ (2 & 3). Additionally, the Ocean Ruler and the Stock Health Tracker assist users in automating data collection and reporting on population health. These tools represent a living body of work that strives to make fishery science and decision-making more accessible to fishing communities.
FishKit is in a continual process of improvement. As we continue to work with fishing communities and learn about people and the places where they fish, our collective experiences will be reflected in updates to this toolkit. We welcome your interest in FishKit and encourage you to try the web application and to reach out to our team!
- Regular, P. M., G. J. Robertson, R. Rogers, and K. P. Lewis. 2020. Improving the communication and accessibility of stock assessment using interactive visualization tools. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 77:1592–1600.
- Prince, J., and A. Hordyk. 2019. What to do when you have almost nothing: A simple quantitative prescription for managing extremely data‐poor fisheries. Fish and Fisheries 20:224–238.
- Hilborn, R. 2010. Pretty good yield and exploited fisheries. Mar. Policy 34:193–196.