Across the globe, marine fish and fisheries provide essential animal protein to nearly 3 billion people, contribute to employment of about 10 percent of the world’s population, and play an important role in marine ecosystems. Yet despite the clear ecological, social, and economic importance of marine fisheries, many fisheries are ineffectively managed, leading to declines in ocean health, food insecurity, and economic loss. Limitations in data and capacity can present major challenges to effective fisheries management. For example, around 30% of all fisheries around the world are being overfished or are in decline, limiting the ability of ecosystems to provide services or recover from stresses, such as climate change, and endangering livelihoods of people who depend on seafood.
Fortunately, tools and methods for assessing and managing data-limited fisheries exist, yet their uptake and implementation is often limited by a lack of capacity, limited knowledge of the many available options, and challenges in application to the unique setting of each fishery. The Nature Conservancy, NOAA, and CSIRO recognized this problem, motivating the development of FishPath. The FishPath framework was developed during a Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) working group (2014-2016), drawing on the expertise of global experts from 8 countries and over 10 organizations.
FishPath Founding Team
FishPath Strategy Lead
Senior Fisheries Scientist
Carmen Revenga leads The Nature Conservancy’s Coastal Fisheries Strategy within the Global Oceans Team. Her main role is to guide the coastal fisheries work at the Conservancy and ensure that TNC’s field work is aligned with global fisheries strategy and vision. As the Co-Principal Investigator in the SNAPP Data-Limited Fisheries Working Group, she helped develop FishPath, a comprehensive framework for guiding the assessment and management of data limited fisheries. FishPath has become the main pillar for the Conservancy’s coastal fisheries strategy to reform the worlds capacity- and data-limited fisheries. Prior to joining the Global Oceans Team in 2009, Carmen led the Conservancy’s global assessment on the status and threats to freshwater ecosystems and marine fisheries. Before coming to the Conservancy, she worked for the World Resources Institute where she focused on linking science and policy to improve the management of freshwater resources and marine fisheries. She has published a number of influential books, reports and papers relating to the condition of marine and inland fisheries and freshwater ecosystems. She holds degrees in Zoology and Conservation Biology from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain and the University of Maryland in the U.S
Jono is the Lead Scientist for Global Fisheries at The Nature Conservancy. His research involves a blend of quantitative and empirical approaches to conservation and fisheries management issues. Jono’s recent work has involved design and simulation testing of novel fisheries management strategies, integrating marine reserves into fisheries management, and cooperative approaches to achieve climate-ready fisheries. As the Co-Principal Investigator in the SNAPP Data-Limited Fisheries Working Group, Jono was instrumental in the development of FishPath, and is currently leading its implementation and use with partners across the world. Jono received BA degrees in Environmental Studies and Business/Economics from UCSB, an MS in Biology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and a PhD in Environmental Science and Management from UCSB.
Dawn Dougherty is a Fisheries Scientist at The Nature Conservancy and leads the FishPath Network. Dawn is currently performing analyses and conducting workshops with several FishPath case studies. Dawn’s background in fisheries research involves spatial fisheries modeling, bio-economic fishery participation and behavior modeling, and assessing trade-offs among alternative management strategies. Dawn has worked with a range of small-scale fisheries around the Pacific, including Chile, Ecuador, Peru, the Philippines, and Indonesia, to identify and evaluate applied solutions to challenges in fisheries management. Dawn received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Oregon, and her master’s degree in Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management from the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.
Serena is a Fisheries Specialist at The Nature Conservancy where she supports fisheries field projects across South America, the Caribbean, and Africa. Serena has worked with the Conservancy’s California Oceans Program, where her projects have included a publication about climate change and U.S. fisheries management, and coordination of a collaboration regarding oyster aquaculture in Tomales Bay. Before joining the Conservancy, Serena completed a master's in Environmental Science & Management (2016) from the UC Santa Barbara Bren School, where she focused largely on international fisheries management. Serena holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and marine biology from UCLA and has previously worked as a consultant with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a Science Crew member with the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program, a consultant with the Galapagos National Park, and a naturalist with Princess Monterey Bay Whale Watching.
Natalie is a Senior Fisheries Scientist with CSIRO in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Her background is in management strategy evaluation modeling, but her career has evolved to embrace two main interests: management strategies for data-limited fisheries, and understanding fisher behavior in response to management changes via fleet dynamics models. Natalie enjoys being able to engage with fishers and stakeholders at a grass roots level and, thorough effective communication, facilitating the uptake of highly technical modeling outcomes. Natalie was responsible for developing data-limited management strategies for over half of Australia’s Commonwealth managed fisheries, and subsequently led the development of data poor management strategy guidelines for the Food and Agriculture Organization. In collaboration with the SNAPP Data-Limited Fisheries Working Group and The Nature Conservancy, she instigated and led the development of the FishPath tool. Natalie is also leading Australian projects on low-cost management regimes for low-value fisheries, and triple-bottom line harvest strategies for multi-sector fisheries. It is her long-term goal to continue to develop and expand FishPath, to provide an end-to-end, process based tool that embraces the entire management regime for data-limited fisheries.
Jason is a Research Fishery Biologist for the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, WA (United States), and has conducted stock assessments since 2003. Jason has spent the past several years developing tools and teaching courses on data/resource-limited approaches to fisheries management, with an emphasis on outreach capacity to further the use and accessibility of these tools. Jason’s primary interests range from data collection and analysis of life history traits and parameters to the integration of those data into a variety of methods and models to support scientifically informed fisheries management. He believes that no matter how little data currently available, there are ways forward to improve stock sustainability. He has served as a member of the Pacific Fishery Management Council Groundfish Management Team as well as on several national committees tasked with confronting a variety fisheries science and management issues. He currently serves as the chair of the national data-limited methods subgroup of NOAA’s Assessment Methods Working Group and won a Department of Commerce Gold Medal (the highest honor within the U.S. Department of Commerce) for his work on data-limited stock assessments. Jason received his B.A. in Integrative Biology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1997, M.S. from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in 2002, and a PhD in Fisheries Science from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington in November of 2008.
FishPath Scientific Publication.
The FishPath approach for fisheries management in a data‐and capacity‐limited world (Dowling et al. 2022)