Fisher registration is the process of enlisting fishers in a registry that enables governments and management groups to grant fishing rights, monitor fishing activity and regulate entry to the fishery. Fisher registration is at the core of effective fisheries management. Without knowledge of who is fishing, managers are not able to accurately measure the pressure exerted on the fisheries that underpin the wellbeing and resilience of coastal communities.

Effective Management

While many countries have established fisher registration systems, few are actively contributing to effective small-scale fisheries management. Through Fish Forever’s work with local fishing communities and governments, we’ve discovered that the primary reasons for this are:

  1. not all fishers are registered.
  2. local managers do not have access to or the capacity to manage registration data.
  3. unregistered or unlicensed fishers are not penalized. 

Right to Fish

Fish Forever’s managed access approach gives exclusive access privileges for fishing in defined areas to fisher beneficiaries who are compliant with fishing regulations and are participating in coastal management and conservation activities. Fisher registration is the platform for identifying those fishers with the right to fish. Fish Forever works with small scale fishing communities and local governments to build an accurate list of who has a right to fish in each managed access area by registering all fishers through a centralized system that is accessible to fisheries management bodies. Ultimately, the end point of fisher registration is effective fisheries management coupled with tangible benefits for local fishers.