The TAKING STOCK assessments are based on a robust methodology, ensuring that standardised transparency assessments of fisheries management information are conducted by the FiTI International Secretariat. The methodology has been designed in a way that these TAKING STOCK assessments can be applied to all coastal countries globally, independent of whether a country has already joined the FiTI.
Core characteristics of the TAKING STOCK methodology
The TAKING STOCK assessment analyses whether national (federal) information is proactively published online by national authorities on their own websites. Regional or local information is not part of the assessment.
The country’s marine capture fishery is assessed against 39 transparency elements derived from the 12 thematic areas of the FiTI Standard.
Every transparency element is assessed according to the following qualitative criteria:
Additionally, the TAKING STOCK assessments:
- consider whether information is published in a way that renders it easy to (re)use, e.g. to download, search and filter;
- document instances of ‘good transparency practices’, where published information allows non-experts to draw reliable conclusions from it; and
- propose practical recommendations to improve online transparency regarding a country’s marine fisheries sector.
Different entry points are used to locate government information about the country’s marine fisheries sector, such as:
- central government portal(s);
- standalone websites of national authorities; and
- external search engines, such as Google.
Other means of sharing information, such as social media channels, are primarily used to identify sources of information within government websites.
The assessment is conducted as a desktop study, without relying on input or contributions from national authorities. However, national authorities are informed prior to an assessment and have the option to comment on initial findings prior to the publication of the results.
For each assessed country, the results are published in two reports: a Summary Assessment Report and a Detailed Assessment Report.
The FiTI does not consolidate the findings of a TAKING STOCK assessment into an overall country score, nor does it plan to compile the results of these assessments into a global fisheries transparency index.
Transparency in fisheries management is not static, and will evolve further over time. This is just as applicable to the 12 thematic areas of fisheries management set forth in the FiTI Standard, as it is to the qualitative criteria against which these requirements are analysed during this assessment. It is therefore expected that the methodology of the TAKING STOCK assessment will also evolve with time. It will be the role of the FiTI and its partner organisations to regularly review and enhance it.