In 2007, SFP started using a simple method for evaluating FIP progress. At that time, we defined five “stages” of achievement: Stages 1 and 2 to track development of the FIP structure, Stage 3 to track implementation, and Stages 4 and 5 to track actual improvements.
The stages are independent of the underlying status of the fishery (i.e., a fishery could be rated high, medium, or low risk for its sustainability, and still have a FIP at any stage). Once a FIP reaches a particular stage, it is always referred to as at least that stage. Thus the SFP FIP stage measures are used as the “high water mark” for the FIP towards FIP objectives and sustainability goals.
Since SFP created the five FIP stages, the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions (Conservation Alliance) has refined and clarified the stages and adopted them as part of the most recent “Guidelines for Supporting FIPs” document.
In 2014, SFP further innovated its Fishery Evaluation Program to include FIP Progress Ratings. It represented the first and only methodology to date that applies time benchmarks to quickly understand the rate at which a fishery is improving with an alphabetic rating. Generally, the more regularly and frequently improvements are being made, the better the progress rating.