Aquaculture Performance Indicators

The Aquaculture Performance Indicators (APIs) is an innovative tool developed in 2020 at the University of Florida by James Anderson, Frank Asche and Taryn Garlock together with Håkan Eggert at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The APIs are designed for evaluating and comparing the world’s aquaculture management systems. These indicators build upon the success of the Fishery Performance Indicators (FPIs) and their effectiveness in evaluating investment decisions and fisheries regulatory institutions in ecosystem health, economic sustainability and human well-being (Chu et al. 2017; Asche et al. 2018; McCluney et al. 2019).

The Fishery Performance Indicators have been supported and used by many organizations including the World Bank, World Wildlife Fund, Environmental Defense Fund, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Packard Foundation (Anderson et al. 2013; Chu et al. 2012; Chu and Meredith 2015). These organizations identified the need to have an analogous tool for aquaculture since aquaculture now supplies more than half of the global seafood supply.


The Aquaculture Performance Indicators (APIs) were designed to be a rapid assessment instrument for measuring performance of aquaculture production systems in the three key dimensions of sustainability: environmental, economic, community dimensions. They can be used in both developed (data-rich) and developing (data-poor) regions, and they can been used in a range of applications such as comparing aquaculture management systems at a global scale or for specific species complexes and evaluating the effectiveness of investment and reforms.

Aquaculture systems are scored using 88 performance metrics. These metrics were selected to be readily available, accurate, quantifiable, relevant and understandable. They were also designed to be aggregated into three key indicators: Environmental, Economics, and Community. Sixty-six input metrics are also scored which enable analysis of factors enabling or hindering achievement of environmental, economic and community outcomes.

We are continually collecting data on aquaculture systems using the API system, and we encourage interested collaborators to contact us.

If you would like the current copy of the API Manual, please send a request to and copy