Fishery Improvement Projects

Nautilus is involved in a number of Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) (helping private and public sector clients to improve the sustainability of fisheries and move towards some form of certification), and has also pioneered the use of the MSC Principles and Criteria as an audit tool (identifying management weaknesses prior to developing mitigation strategies).  We offer a low cost "hand-holding" service to commercial and government clients, providing strategic guidance and planning, supplemented by bespoke analysis, leaving client organisations and other stakeholders to undertake most of the work on the ground.  This helps build local capacity and buy-in, makes for more appropriate and durable solutions, and ensures that these initiatives are not just about "getting the certificate" but rather about building more sustainable fisheries.   The attached (here) gives further information on the geographical spread of work (we have undertaken work in over 100 countries around the globe), and the note (here) offers some guidelines on what makes for a successful Fishery Improvement Project.

At the end of February, Crick Carleton, Managing Director of Nautilus, attended the 2015 Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) European Fisheries Forum, held in Madrid.  This brought together  over 100 invited representatives of the seafood trade, supplemented by a small number of standards' organisations and service providers.  A two-day programme of presentations and discussions provided an interesting insight into the issues that are keeping seafood buyers and retailers awake at night, complemented by the efforts by SFP and others to secure market share in addressing these issues through FIPs and standards setting. 

Top of the agenda is the race by all supply chain members to demonstrate that they are jumping into action to match the public demand for seafood from sustainable and ethical sources - or more realistically to shore up the reputational claims and aspirations of multiple retailers.  But things are not always what they seem - with many parties announcing Fishery Improvement Projects that are either under-funded or intended more as sticking plasters with little likelihood of delivering more sustainable fisheries.  To counter such developments SFP has sought, through its FIP website, to establish performance standards for FIPs, and clearly identify where FIPs are actually moving forward, and where they constitute "fake FIPs".