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Artisanal fisheries are extremely diverse when considered on a worldwide basis, although less so within particular countries. As a general case, artisanal fisheries are those in which fishermen operate from vessels of relatively modest size, using relatively inexpensive fishing gear and personally sell their catches to purchasers who might be consumers or middlemen trading on the local market.

In this report the regular data collection systems of the Departments of Fisheries and other government or quasi-government institutions such as marketing and development agencies are first described (Section VI). Most of the data collected by these institutions are biological and technical rather than socioeconomic, and generally they do not deal specifically with the small-scale fisheries of the country.

This article briefly describes the intensive multidisciplinary 3 year research project conducted by the University of the Philippines and ICLARM to document the conditions of the fisheries and fishing communities of San Miguel Bay (Philippines) so that these communities could be integrated into the development planning of the Bicol River Basin Development Project. The research project had three parts, biology, economics and sociology.