RAFMS (Rapid Appraisal of Fisheries Managment Systems) designed by ICLARM is a semistructural research tool designed to quickly document and evaluate exisiting local-level fisheries management systems in a given coastal community. The results of RAFMS will provide direction for undertaking more formal research or quantitative surveys to describe institutional arrangements and performance. RAFMS is suited to the village level, or to a cluster of villages within a defined marine unit such as a bay. It's emphasis is on the evaluation of the rights and rules system governing the use of the fisheries resources at the local level. The approach is also participatory because it is designed for the joint use of RAFMS practitioners and local researchers in collaboration with local fishing communities. The mode of community participation, however, is consultative. This Version 1 of the guide was published with the anticipation of future feedback. Version 1 had been tested for two years prior to being published in collaboration with ICLARM's research partners at: Ulugan Bay and Binunsalian Bay in Palawan, Asia (Southeastern)-Philippines; and Nolloth Village at Saparua Isalnd in Indonesia.