Fisheries enhancement through the release of hatchery fish is widely used in inland and increasingly, coastal fisheries. FMSP projects have demonstrated the potential for enhancement to generate significant benefits for the poor, but the approach is often used ineffectively. The reasons for this include institutional issues associated with regulating harvest and sustaining investment in stocking, as well as the technical problem of optimizing stocking and harvesting regimes for local natural, institutional socio-economic conditions. FMSP projects have addressed the full breadth of these issues and developed quantitative methods for optimizing stocking and harvesting regimes as well as adaptive learning approaches that integrate scientific analyses with stakeholder experimentation and learning. There was a need to make these methods more widely accessible and promote their effective integration into adaptive learning approaches to the development of pro-poor enhancement strategies.


Population dynamics models for aquaculture-based fisheries enhancements developed under previous FMSP projects were synthesized and implemented in a software package, designed to support analysis and decision making in relation to fisheries enhancement at all stages in the project cycle. The EnhanceFish guide and manual were developed by synthesizing research results of previous FMSP projects with a particular reference to providing general guidance on the analysis and development of fisheries enhancements. Key elements of the guide and manual were tested in a regional training course for target end users, held through NACA/STREAM and in collaboration with the Mekong River Commission Fisheries Programme. Training outcomes were monitored and evaluated to identify and address problems encountered with the practical use of the decision tool. Both the decision tool and toolkit were, and continue to be promoted and disseminated in the Asia-Pacific region and globally via NACA/STREAM and FAO.


EnhanceFish provides the first quantitative assessment tool for aquaculture-based fisheries, as well as the most integrated interdisciplinary framework for analysis. As such the project makes a moajor contribution to the tools and approaches available to fisheries scientists and managers in the developing world.

The projects key output is the EnhanceFish decision toolkit for the analysis of aquaculture-based fisheries enhancements consisting of:

1) The EnhanceFish decision tool: a software package for quantitative assessment of enhancement fisheries

2) The EnhanceFish manual: a technical manual that explains the scientific principles behind the EnhanceFish package and its use in assessment

3) The EnhanceFish guide; practical guidance on how to use EnhanceFish in the planning and management of enhancements, particularly in developing countries.

The training workshop demonstrated that the tool fills an important gap in the suite of assessment tools available to fisheries managers, and meets the requirements of target end users. Project outputs have been and continue to be disseminated widely through websites, a discussion forum, policy briefs the tool with guide and manual, and technical publications.