Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

FIRMS definitions are elaborated under the guidance of the FIRMS Steering Committee (FSC), as far as possible based on the FAO Fisheries Glossary. Once cleared by the FSC, definitions are integrated in the FIRMS Information Management Policy (IMP). Definitions presented below (extracted from the IMP) are those of core concepts considered in the Partnership Arrangement for reporting in FIRMS.

FIRMS Meta-data

One of the first activities carried out has been to work on definition and data modelling. This has been achieved by the analysis of the reports published by Partners in order to identify and categorize the main reporting topics. Preliminary results were presented and discussed with Partners during a Workshop (Rome, July 2002).

FIRMS References Terms

List of FIRMS Reference Terms

FIRMS concepts' definitions

Definitions based on the FAO Fisheries Glossary have been proposed for the core concepts considered in the Partnership Arrangement for reporting in FIRMS.

Aquatic Resource: Biotic element of the aquatic ecosystem, including genetic resources, organisms or parts thereof, populations, etc. with actual or potential use or value (sensu lato) for humanity. Fishery resources are those aquatic resources of value to fisheries. FAO Fisheries Glossary.

Fishery Resource: In general, refers to elements of a natural aquatic resource (e.g. strains, species, populations, stocks, assemblages) which can be legally caught by fishing. It may sometimes be taken as including also the habitat of such resources.

Stock: A group of individuals in a species occupying a well defined spatial range independent of other stocks of the same species. It can be affected by random dispersal movements and directed migrations due to seasonal or reproductive activity.

Fishery: A Fishery is an activity leading to the harvesting of fish, within the boundaries of a defined area. The fishery concept fundamentally gathers indication of human fishing activity, including from economic, management, biological/ environmental and technological viewpoints.

Management unit: Is a Fishery unit considered by an Authority for a purpose of management, usually within a jurisdiction and/or with established legal rights. Jurisdiction is interpreted here as the limits or territory within which some authority may be exercised.

Management: The art of taking measures affecting a resource and its exploitation with a view to achieving certain objectives, such as the maximisation of the production of that resource. Management includes, for example, fishery regulations such as catch quotas or closed seasons. Managers are those who practice management.

Management authority: The legal entity which has been assigned by a State or States with a mandate to perform certain specified management functions in relation to a fishery, or an area (e.g. a coastal zone). Generally used to refer to a state authority, the term may also refer to an international management organization. Examples of a Management authority ara a regional body, a state, provincial government, or local fishing community.

Management System: Functional system governed by an authority having a mandate to perform specified management functions focusing on a territory, a production system or a fishery. This functional system is usually formalised through a legal framework. Examples of production systems as understood here are: Marine Capture fisheries, Inland Capture fisheries, Coastal fisheries, Culture based fisheries, Aquaculture. The degree of formalisation of a Management system may vary from thoroughly established systems driven by a Regional Fishery Commission, to a recognised traditional rights based system at fishermen community level.

Modelling of concepts in the FIRMS application

FIRMS will fundamentally manage objects from 3 information domains:
  • Fishery represents the exploitation and usage dimension. It covers the previously defined term Fishery and therefore that of Management Unit.
  • Aquatic Resource represents the biological dimension. It covers the previously defined terms aquatic resource, fishery resource and stock.
  • Management System describes the institutional framework and the set of rules used to reach management objectives.
The concept of Management Unit in FIRMS

According to the terms previously defined, a Management Unit is a Fishery, and a Fishery may be defined from a biological perspective by reference to an exploited Aquatic Resource. In order to avoid the duplication of objects, which could be a source of confusion for the user and would dissociate information that a partner would prefer to be displayed together, the FIRMS Aquatic Resource concept may also represent a Management Unit. Having this qualifier, an Aquatic Resource can be the subject of detailed reporting on management. But detailed information related to exploitation is restricted to objects of the Fishery domain. From a software system view point, what fundamentally differentiate these domains are the attributes used to identify each instance object (key attributes), a set of attributes used to classify the objects in categories and a set of topics subject of reporting.

Marine Resource

Key attributes
  • Species or group of species,
  • Area of distribution
    Reporting topics
    • Habitat and Biology
    • Geographical distribution
    • Water Area Overview
    • Structure (see below section on relationships)
    • Exploitation (Fishery overview)
    • Assessment (available data, method, results and scientific advice)
    • Management Overview*
    • Biological state and trend (including a status of exploitation typology)
    • Statistics
    • Historical data, Bibliographic References and Source of information

    Key attributes
    • Fishing Area
    • Other key descriptor of the fishing activity: Fishing Gear(s), Vessel type(s), Fishing techniques(s), Fishing community(ies), Flag State(s), Fishing port(s), Exploitation Form, Handling mode, Target species
    Reporting Topics
    • Description of
      • Fishing Season
      • Target, Bycatch, Discard and Incidental Species
      • Fishing Area
      • Fishing Gear
      • Vessel type
      • Fishing technique
      • Fishing community
      • Exploitation Form
      • Handling mode description
      • Overview of the Management System
    • Exploitation (including available data, indicators and biological assessment overview)
    • Management Overview *
    • Status and trends (including a status of exploitation typology)
    • Production System (including available data, socio-economic indicators)
    • Post harvest information
    • Issues
    • Historical data, Bibliographic References and Source of information
      * If the Aquatic Resource or the Fishery is a Management Unit, the management topic might be detailed using the following sub-topics:
    • Objectives
    • Strategies
    • Methods
    • Advices
    • Resolutions
    • Problems
    Management System

    Key attributes
    • The mandated authorities: country or institution
    • Focus of management: a jurisdiction area, a sector (e.g. Inland fishery, marine Fishery, etc..) or a fishery
    Reporting Topics
    • The legal framework reflecting the formal status of the management system
    • Jurisdiction Overview
    • The participating institutions and their mandates
    • Structure of the Management System, including references to other related management systems
    • References to the Management Units focus of the application of selected policies, management methods and measures
    • Management Objectives
    • Management Strategies
    • Management Methods, including Method performance
    • Management Resolutions
    • Management Problems
    • Historical data, Bibliographic References and Source of information
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