REF2014 Impact Case Study: Influencing National and Regional Policies in the Fisheries of Central Asia: Promoting Legislative Change and Stocking Strategies to Enhance Growth and Tackle Poverty

Impact: Economic & Commercial Impacts, Public Policy Impacts, Societal Impacts, Environmental Impacts

Description of impact

Research commissioned by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation from the University of Portsmouth on fisher livelihoods in Central Asia has generated impact in the public policy and economic/commercial arenas.

Who is affected

Fishing communities in Central Asia, policy makers, UN FAO


This research, funded by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) focused on how the fisheries sector might more effectively contribute to livelihood strategies of impoverished fisheries communities across Central Asia. Earlier research had benchmarked the representation of fisheries in national development plans, poverty reduction strategies and donor support programmes. The research applied a series of metrics that identified the sector's political, economic and social significance across 129 states. This work resulted in Thorpe being commissioned to examine fisheries, aquaculture and food security in the Kyrgyz Republic in order to produce recommendations for rehabilitating the country's inland fisheries.
The research documented the collapse of the Soviet system resulted in the demise of the country's fisheries, showing that institutional failure destroyed supply chains and a chronic lack of funding resulted in production collapsing from 1447 to 48 tonnes between 1989 and 2005.
The resulting impact of this research related to shifts in public policy and legislation, as well as economic improvements across several Central Asian countries. The legislative change in Kyrgyzstan resulted in the decriminalisation of artisanal fishing. The success of this project prompted FAO to extend its activities in the wider region with funding under the FAO Turkish Partnership, with plans to increase restocking of fish.
The economic impact in Kyrgyzstan resulted from developing the commercial cultivation of trout and capture fisheries, through enhance domestic production practices, and represented an important example of academic / industrial collaboration.
Impact statusOpen
Category of impactEconomic & Commercial Impacts, Public Policy Impacts, Societal Impacts, Environmental Impacts
Impact levelAdoption (implementation stage)


  • fisheries, policy


  • REF2014