Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) is hailing the release of a new academic paper as proof positive that an industry-driven approach to sustainable seafood production is not only possible, but an effective tool for driving positive change.

The paper, “Fishery Improvement Projects: performance over the past decade,” appearing open access in the Marine Policy journal, examines the history of the development of fishery improvement projects (FIPs) over the past 12 years.

The research team included Jim Cannon, SFP Founder and CEO; Pedro Sousa, SFP Chief Scientist and FIP Research Program Director; Isidora Katara, former SFP Senior Fishery Analyst and currently Fisheries and GIS Analyst at CEFAS, UK; Pedro Veiga, SFP Senior Scientist; Braddock Spear, SFP Systems Division Director; Doug Beveridge, former SFP Improvement Division Director; and Tracy Van Holt of the Center for Sustainable Business at the Stern School of Business, New York University.

“This paper provides solid and unequivocal support to the FIP model, looking back and, more importantly, looking forward,” co-author Pedro Sousa said. “The results demonstrate that fisheries with FIPs are more likely to achieve improvements in management and overfishing when compared to fisheries without FIPs.”

The authors developed a comprehensive database of attributes characterizing all known FIPs around the world, which enabled the research behind the paper. The database (FIP-DB) complements existing web resources with information on FIPs, including FisheryProgress.org, the one-stop shop for understanding current FIP status. SFP and the University of Washington have been collaborating to publicly launch the FIP-DB, which is now available by clicking here.

Professor Ray Hilborn notes, "The team at the University of Washington is happy to partner with SFP to evaluate the progress of FIPs in improving fisheries performance and identify how fisheries may progress more rapidly towards full certification."

SFP invites all interested researchers to visit the website and use the database for their own analyses.

“The support we have from Professor Hilborn’s team is instrumental to ensure that the FIP-DB will become a global resource for researchers,” co-author Brad Spear said. SFP’s goal is an increase in peer-reviewed literature that includes analyses of and lessons learned about FIPs and supply chain engagement in fisheries improvements.

“SFP has always believed in the concept of industry-driven change,” said Jim Cannon, SFP’s Founder and CEO. “This research proves that stakeholders can truly change things for the better by leveraging their influence through their supply chains and the markets.”


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