Many important fisheries are not yet managed well enough to meet the standards of credible international arbiters of sustainability. This puts many major seafood buyers and producers in a bind: they need the products of these fisheries, but they are committed to sustainability in their sourcing. SFP works with the seafood industry to meet this challenge by helping less well-managed fisheries meet the environmental requirements of major markets.
SFP takes an active role in initiating and coordinating improvements in fisheries but we always aim for industry to eventually take a leadership role in every fishery where we work. SFP organizes improvement activity at three levels:
Sustainable Seafood Sector Groups
Sustainable Seafood Sector Groups are set up to cover specific sectors, such as whitefish, and include supply chain members with a direct interest in the subject. The groups do not directly support FIPs, but act as a forum for information exchange and discussion, develop procurement specifications, and identify new areas of work in the future.
A Supplier Roundtable provides a geographical focus to a group of high- to medium-risk fisheries within a single (or otherwise defined) sector and acts to support FIP activity where it can. A roundtable typically includes processors, importers, and others that buy direct from a specific sector in a specific region (retailers or other stakeholders can be participants depending on circumstances, but primary producers generally participate at project level). The roundtables act to:
- Identify gaps in their region where new FIPs need to be initiated
- Encourage the formation and efficient operation of FIPs in their sector/region
- Provide advice, technical briefings, and evaluations to individual industry-led FIPs, where required
- Evaluate progress of FIPs that are linked to the roundtable.
In essence, a roundtable is a coordination body that maximizes the efficiency of improvement efforts through identifying the common needs of different fisheries and avoiding duplication.
Each SR oversees (to varying extents) a portfolio of FIPs; some are 3rd party and some are SFP FIPs where industry has assumed a leadership role. In the absence of a central global FIP portal, SFP has agreed to provide host URL links and post some of the 3rd party reports on a temporary basis. SFP encourages use of the standardized reporting templates, but we recognize that this will depend on industry capacity and can take time.
Fishery Improvement Projects
- FIP Overview – this document provides a more detailed description of how FIPs function
- FIP Profiles – these provide an up-to-date description of the activities of an individual FIP including recent achievements
(see the profiles in the column on the left)
- SFP FIP Status List – this table provides a quick overview of the progress of all FIPs associated with SFP
- FIP Tool Kit – the tool kit is a set of documents that can guide anyone through the process of creating and implementing a FIP.