Froese, R., 2004.

Keep it simple: Three indicators to deal with overfishing.


Fish and Fisheries, 5:86-91.

This article presents simple indicators which can help empower non-specialists to partake in steering decision making towards sustainable fisheries. One of the indicators is to use easily accessible minimum size of fish to make sure they have reproduced at least once.

The consumer protection agency in Hamburg, Germany, has picked up on this and developed a campaign 'Don't eat babies' ('Babies gehören nicht auf den Teller'). Interested consumers, fish vendors and, of course, fishers themselves, can use a fish ruler to measure the most common species e.g. from the North Sea on the spot and buy only adult specimens. The agency carried through a particularly successful campaign, which was also picked up by the media and other regional agencies. The cartoon image was kindly provided by the INCOFISH project, which developed with indicator work further and provided much of the scientific underpinning of the campaign.


The fish ruler has been adapted for other countries as well and new campaigns have been carried out and/or are in preparation in the Philippines, Senegal and Peru ('Chikipez'), among others.