This paper considers the adaptation of Participatory Rural Appraisal to an urban artisanal fisheries environment in Conakry, Guinea. It describes how the Ministry of Agricultural and Animal Resources (responsible for fisheries), artisanal fishing port users, and the regional West African Integrated Development of Artisanal Fisheries Programme (IDAF) of the FAO have been collaborating to develop methods to help the fishing port users and the government fisheries officers work effectively together. PRA was used in order to increase the awareness of port users and port authorities of the operational conditions of the port, prioritising problems. Methods of fishing, processing and marketing were also examined. A significant finding was the large number of groups involved, none of whom felt they could take any responsibility. A port users committee was therefore set up, which was involved in following through the initial PRA. Fisheries officers were trained in PRA, and were able to link their planning skills with the specialised knowledge of the fishermen, traders, smokers and boat builders to set up 'mini-projects'. The conclusion is that the use of PRA within the government structure creates flexibility in planning, transferring responsibility to the managing committee.