Fishery Improvement Projects, or FIPs for short, are when stakeholders of a fishery come together to provide funding, research, and data, in an effort to set standards for the improvement of a fishery’s sustainability. FIPs can vary in scope, but comprehensive FIPs address many areas, from a fishery’s stock to social responsibility.
Stakeholders can be local governments, fisherman, the companies that buy from them, like NETUNO, and NGOs. The goal of the FIP is to address many of the standards original set by certification bodies such as MSC/ASC, but in recent years FIPs have gone even further, adding social responsibility and eco-responsibility standards as well. In many cases a comprehensive FIP will cover more criteria that is required of MSC/ASC labels, but the hope is that these certifying bodies will catch up and help to address the concerns of the public surrounding fair and ethical treatment of employees, traceability, and transparency of the process.
According to FisheryProgress.org, in 2015 there were over 80 FIPs around the world, representing only 10% of the globe’s seafood production. Today, there are over 130 FIPs, but as seafood consumption and demand steadily increases, it becomes even more important that more fisheries participate in FIPs to set the standards for healthy stock, human and labor rights protections, and transparency in traceability practices.
NETUNO is part of 7 FIPs total, and we are working to increase this number. You can get details on each at FisheryProgress.org.