Tropical marine ecosystems provide important goods and services to a vast collective of diverse stakeholders. Chiefly among these is the provision of food and livelihoods via fishing. However, the balance between maintaining sustainable tropical marine ecosystems and Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF) is delicate and needs to be actively monitored. Additionally, overfishing and the overexploitation of marine resources can threaten the livelihoods and food security of local communities. In order to promote sustainable SSF practices, data are required to inform robust evidence-based management. In the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), insufficient fish landings and life history data is available to conduct basic assessments. Thus, local capacity for fisheries research and management presents an important gap.
Through direct collaboration with local stakeholders and fishers, the project aims to address this via the improvement of local fisheries-related catch, effort and biological data in the TCI. The project also aims to develop local capacity to facilitate long-term science-driven fishery assessments regionally, through the provision of a state-of-the-art fisheries laboratory. Lastly, the project will work closely with local government to ensure that the fisheries research tools which are provided can be appropriately translated into management directives.

Project Objectives

In collaboration with local fishers, the TCI Government Department of Coastal Resources (DECR) and Department of Fisheries & Marine Resource Management (FMRM), the project will:

Build fishers’ capacity for participation in fisheries management

Centralise landing sites

Train DECR staff in landing and biological data collection and management

Provide equipment for a state-of-the-art fisheries laboratory and

Conduct fishery assessments using data collected in collaboration with the DECR and FMRM.

Project Manager


Ed is a trained ichthyologist and fisheries scientist with a passion for preserving wildlife and the natural world. His scientific career has been fostered through recreational fishing and time spent outdoors, which developed into a desire to better understand, conserve and protect wildlife and wild places. His research expertise are centered in the social-ecological system (SES) sciences – studying linked systems of people and nature. Ed believes that studying these systems will uncover novel and pragmatic solutions towards conservation issues and the management of open-pool resources, on both a local and global scale. Ed has a particular interest in these systems in the global south, third world and in Africa where he believes that they are understudied yet provide incredibly valuable and relevant case studies to expand SES science.
Ed holds a BSc, BSc honors and PhD from Rhodes University, South Africa – home to the JLB Smith Institute and Coelacanth. His new role at SAERI will be based on the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), where he will manage the Darwin Plus project “Conserving tropical marine ecosystems in TCI through science-based fisheries management”. Through working with local stakeholder groups, the project will develop the tools and expertise to promote a sustainable small-scale fisheries management programme in the TCI. In his spare time, Ed enjoys scuba-diving, playing cricket and golf and will no-doubt be found exploring the natural beauty of the TCI with fly-rod in hand!


The project is funded by the Darwin Initiative through the UK Government (DPlus 153).

Darwin Initiative’s project DPLUS 153

Project Partners: 

PO Box 609, Stanley Cottage North
Ross Road, Falkland Islands
Stanley, FIQQ 1ZZ
Falkland Islands: +500 27374
UK Office: +44 (0)20 3745 1731
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