Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) is a young and dynamic, business-focused NGO that is reshaping the world of corporate responsibility through the creation of powerful information tools and a methodology that allows companies to directly engage with suppliers of natural resources. It does not campaign or provide eco-labels, but works to reduce the barriers to action by industry in creating a more sustainable world. SFP operates through two main principles: information and improvement.
SFP has created a database of fisheries, accessible to all, which contains assessments of sustainability and improvement needs. There are more than a thousand profiles now available with more being added every week. This database – called FishSource – reduces one of the primary barriers to seafood companies engaging in fisheries improvement, namely access to reliable and detailed information.
The fisheries information on FishSource is also linked to a software package called SFP Metrics that can advise corporate partners about the sustainability status of the fish they are ordering. This means that constantly updated fisheries information can be fed into any company’s procurement system and help staff implement sustainability policies.
Once seafood companies have information, they can then identify where the problems lie in their supply chain and take action. However, trying to engage directly in a fishery, which may be thousands of miles away, is a daunting prospect for most organizations, especially when they have no in-house expertise on marine management. SFP helps to overcome this barrier by creating Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) – essentially multi-stakeholder groups that include catchers, processors, and others with an interest in the fishery who work together to create and implement an improvement plan. SFP now has more than 40 FIPs operating around the world.
SFP has also responded to industry requests by creating a parallel system for aquaculture that complements the wild fisheries program. SFP is currently developing an aquaculture component for FishSource along with aquaculture metrics for seafood buyers and a number of Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIPs) in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia.