Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS)
New Metrics


How do we know if the food system is sustainable, efficient, fair, economically viable or resilient? What are the important indicators? Environmental health, community and family conditions, health care, tax revenue, profitability, school access, free trade, poverty, malnutrition or rule of law?

What are the key factors influencing success (or failure)? Regulations, leadership, eduation, innovation, consumer behavior, market structure?

Which investments will have the greatest impact in promoting sustainable food systems? Infrastructure, genetic research, disease control, market analysis, community structure, information technology, eduation?

To answer these questions, and many more, we need indictators and metrics. Many of which are not currently collected in a consistent manner by any institution.

What are we doing to address these challenges?

THE FISHERIES PERFORMANCE INDICATORS PROJECT: ISFS researchers, James Anderson, Taryn Garlock and Frank Asche are working with researchers at Univ. of Washington, 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 to be learned by comparing systems to determine what works and what does not. READ >

Fishery Performance Indicators Manual >

The Fishery Performance Indicators for California and Indonesia Fisheries