James Anderson, Taryn Garlock and Frank Asche at the University of Florida, have worked with Chris Anderson, Jennifer Meredith, and Michael DeAlessi at the University of Washington, Jingjie Chu at The World Bank and several other institutions to develop Fishery Performance Indicators. The FPIs are designed to determine how fisheries management systems are performing in order to achieve community, economic, and ecological sustainability.

The FPI project was initiated by James Anderson in 2009 with the support of the International Coalition of Fisheries Association (ICFA). The Fishery Performance Indicators (FPIs) consist of 68 output and 54 input metrics of fishery performance spanning the ‘triple bottom line’ dimensions of ecology, economics and community in a fishery system. The FPIs were developed as a response to the fact that most global fisheries performance assessment approaches emphasize primarily fish stock and ecological conditions, and contain little information on economic and social issues. Moreover, fisheries management systems are often prohibitively expensive – especially in poorer regions of the world. Data-poor fishery systems needed assessment, and there needed to be a comparable approach – a common language, a common metric. The FPIs are a completely independent, science-based and objective tool, providing indicators not only for outcomes; but also for input factors that facilitates good governance and positive fisheries outcomes.   Much can be learned by comparing systems to determine what works and what does not. They have been used to evaluate the effectiveness of investment, reforms, and interventions.

The International Coalition of Fisheries Associations (ICFA) funded the development of Fishery Performance Indicators in 2009. The World Bank and others have since tested and applied them. The development process involved four workshops and test pilots involving:

  • 40 experts
  • 15 universities and research institutions
  • 6 government organizations
  • 6 private firms

Recently, the UF Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (now part of the UF/IFAS Food Systems Institute) partnered with Håkan Eggert at the University of Gothenburg with a grant from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) to further apply the FPI approach to global fisheries. This work involved a collaboration of over 25 colleagues from South America, Africa, US, Europe and China to produce eight FPI articles for a special section of Marine Policy, a leading international journal in ocean affairs. Links to the special section articles and other FPI publications can be found below.


  1. Anderson J.L., C.M. Anderson, J. Chu, J. Meredith, et al. 2015. The Fishery Performance Indicators: A Management Tool for Triple Bottom Line Outcomes. PLOS ONE 10(5): e0122809. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122809
  2. Chu, J. Garlock, T., Asche, F. and Anderson, J.L. 2017. Impact Evaluation of a Fisheries Development Project. Marine Policy 85: 141-149.
  3. Asche, F., Garlock, T.M., Anderson, J.L., Bush, S., Smith, M., Anderson, C.M., Chu, J., Garrett, K., Lem, A., Lorenzen, K., Oglend, A., Tveteras, S., Vannuccini, S. The three pillars of sustainability in fisheries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(44): 11221-11225.
  4. McCluney, J.K., Anderson, C.M., Anderson, J.L. 2019. The fishery performance indicators for global tuna fisheries. Nature Communications, 10: 1641.
  5. Eggert, H., Anderson, C.M., Anderson, J.L., Garlock, T.M. 2021. Assessing global fisheries using Fisheries Performance Indicators: Introduction to special section. Marine Policy, 125: 104253.
  6. Asche, F., Garlock, T.M., Akpalu, W., et al. 2021. Fisheries performance in Africa: An analysis based on data from 14 countries. Marine Policy, 125: 104263.
  7. Akpalu, W., Eggert,  H. 2021. The economic, social and ecological performance of the industrial trawl fishery in Ghana: Application of the FPIs. Marine Policy, 125: 104241. 
  8. Marco, J., Valderrama, D., Rueda, M. 2021. Evaluating management reforms in a Colombian shrimp fishery using fisheries performance indicators. Marine Policy, 125: 104258.
  9. Marco, J., Valderrama, D., Rueda, M. 2021. Triple bottom line assessment for the historically underperforming Colombian queen conch fishery. Marine Policy, 125: 104257.
  10. Doria, C.R.C., Dutka-Gianelli, J., de Sousa, S.T.B., Chu, J., Garlock, T.M. 2021. Understanding the impacts of dams on the small-scale fisheries of the Madeira River through the lens of the Fisheries Performance Indicators. Marine Policy, 125: 104261. 
  11. Liu, L., Chu, J., Anderson, J.L., Xu, J. 2021. Sustainability comparisons in the triple bottom line for Chinese fisheries. Marine Policy, 125: 104259.
  12. Danielsen, R., Anderson, C.M., Agnarsson, S. 2021. Trawling for triple bottom line results: Applying the Fishery Performance Indicators in the Faroe Islands. Marine Policy, 125: 104250. 
  13. Chávez, C., Dresdner, J., González, N., Leiva, M., Quiroga, M. 2021. The performance of shared fish stock fisheries under varying institutional and socioeconomic conditions: Evidence from the South Eastern Pacific Anchoveta Fishery. Marine Policy, 125: 104262.


  1. Chu, J. and J. Meredith. 2014. Economic, environmental, and social evaluation of Africa’s small-scale fisheries. The World Bank Group. Washington DC (54pp).
  2. Anderson, J.L., C. Anderson, T. Garlock and M. DeAlessi. 2016. The Fishery Performance Indicators for California and Indonesia Fisheries Management Systems. Prepared for The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

What is a Fishery System?

A fishery system is the intersection of three perspectives. The biological perspective is identified by a breeding population. The harvesting business perspective is identified by fleets using comparable technologies and serving similar markets. The management perspective is identified by a common set of rules for access and harvest. In other terms, a fishery system is identified by fleets harvesting identifiable populations, supplying similar markets, and under a common set of rules for access and harvest.

Fishery Performance Indicators

Fishery systems are scored using 68 metrics. These metrics were selected to be readily available, accurate, quantifiable, relevant and understandable. They are rolled up into three indicators: Ecology, Economics, and Community. We are continually adding new fisheries to the FPI system, and are expanding the utility of FPI to assessment of sports fisheries and aquaculture operations.

FPI Strengths

-Triple bottom line assessment – environment, economics, community

-Objective and science-based

-Rapid and cost-effective

-Compares systems – A common language/a common metric

-Support investment/project monitoring and evaluation

-Accommodates data-poor fisheries

-Includes the value chain


Multilateral Banks and Development Organizations (e.g. World Bank, Asia Development Bank, USAID)

These organizations use the FPIs for independent & objective baseline assessment; as a tool to assist in project design; and for monitoring and evaluation.

Government Fishery Management Agencies

These organizations use the FPIs for independent & objective assessment of their management systems.

Environmental NGOs

These organizations use the FPIs for independent & objective baseline assessment; as a tool to assist in project design; and for monitoring and evaluation.

Philanthropic Organizations

These organizations use the FPIs for independent & objective baseline assessment; as a tool to assist in project design and for monitoring and evaluation.

Seafood Users

There is potential for the FPIs to help seafood buyers, chefs, wholesalers and distributors source from sustainable fishery systems.

Academic Community

As an independent and objective data source the FPIs can be used to formally evaluate the effectiveness of management systems and help answer what works. What works best for fisheries? What works best for economic returns, business and employment? What works best for the community?