Environmental Rapid Assessment

The Environmental Rapid Assessment (ERA) is a publicly available tool for rapidly and affordably evaluating the environmental sustainability of wild capture fisheries.

Based on international standards and best practices, it was co-developed by Ocean Outcomes, World Wildlife Fund and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership under the Oceans Seafood and Markets Initiative (OSMI). The ERA can be used to identify major gaps in environmental performance of fishery in a manner that is largely consistent with evaluation against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard, but with slight differences in approach and at substantially reduced effort and cost.

The ERA is one of the three foundational components of the Triple Impact Fisheries Evaluation Framework.

The ERA can help achieve the following:

  • Identify major deficiencies in fishery sustainability or give sound advice on how a fishery can move forward into an improvement project.
  • Be a time and cost efficient assessment methodology that is faster to conduct than a full MSC pre-assessment.
  • Be used in the Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) development process.
  • Be posted on FisheryProgress.org as the Needs Assessment for basic FIPs.

The goal is to provide a low-cost method to developing a science based understanding of a fishery’s sustainability needs and opportunities.

The ERA draws heavily on concepts and definitions from the MSC and Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch standards and evaluates indicators within the following three principles:

  • (1) Status of target stock(s)
  • (2) Ecosystem impacts
  • (3) Management system

The ERA is publicly available on FisheryProgress.org (listed as the Environmental Rapid Assessment Tool).