The Rapid Appraisal of Fisheries Management Systems (RAFMS) is among the RRA-affiliated methodologies being developed at the International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM), which is specific to the fisheries. It is a semi-structured research tool designed to quickly document and evaluate the existing local-level fisheries management systems in a given fishing community. Undertaking a rapid appraisal approach is deemed useful to provide a general description of basic physical and fisher/community characteristics and institutional arrangements RAFMS then gives the direction for undertaking more formal research or quantitative surveys. The approach is participatory because it is designed for the joint use of the RAFMS practitioners and the local researchers in collaboration with the local fishing communities. The emphasis is on the evaluation of the rights and rules system governing the use of the fisheries resources at the local level. This handbook is divided into six parts: 1) introduction to rapid appraisal 2) research/survey framework 3) procedures and methodologies 4) afterword 5) references 6) an appendix of six matrices used for the research.