Policy and Ecosystem Restoration in Fisheries (PERF) is a research group dedicated to restoring aquatic ecosystems and ensuring sustainable fisheries. By developing integrative research tools for historically-based restoration and ecosystem-based management, PERF aims to devise and evaluate sustainable fisheries policies. The group also explores the human dimensions of fisheries by examining social-economic factors, cultural values, institutions, ethics and governance.

Tony Pitcher and his team evaluate the trade-offs associated with policy options using ecosystem simulations, ecological economics, biodiversity and cultural indicators, historical and traditional knowledge, cognitive science and participatory workshops. The group pioneers interdisciplinary research in the theory and practice of restoration ecology for marine and freshwater ecosystems from around the globe and close to home.

Download latest group report.


TOOLS AND APPROACHES     We have developed a variety of ecosystem-based simulation models, holistic indicators, and policy analysis techniques that can help estimate, mitigate and reverse human impacts on the environment.

PERF members are involved in building 
ecosystem models for a variety of locations worldwide, in order to aid the understanding of likely outcomes of alternative policies to fishery scientists, managers and other stakeholders. In the main, 'EwE' models are employed.

The group has pioneered the 'Sea Ahead'approach (formerly
known as ‘Back to the Future'), an initiative that employs historical analysis, participatory workshops, and traditional knowledge to evaluate policy goals that reconcile biodiversity and services with sustainable and responsible fisheries. The group has also worked on exemplars of special types of ecosystems such as Seamounts and Coral Reefs.

PERF members have developed an interdisciplinary rapid appraisal method for evaluating
the status of fisheries known as “Rapfish’. It has been used to assess the sustainability of fisheries, compliance with the UN Code of Conduct,   IUU, ecosystem-based management and a number of other issues. Rapfish is currently under further development, and now has its own website.

We have also recently been working on an Ecosystem Evaluation Framework (EEF) that can be used to quickly assess the status of knowledge and function of examples of key key ecosystem types such as seamounts and coral reefs.
The seamount EEF has been further developed: details may be found at its website.

Tony Pitcher,
May 5, 2010, 12:15 PM