Increasing market demand for sustainable seafood has led to considerable growth of Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs).
How the MSC defines a credible FIP
The MSC recognises the important contribution that FIPs can make to improving overall fisheries health and in promoting sustainable seafood. However, we believe that it is important that they are operated in a manner that is credible: that their actions are transparent; that they clearly show improvement in fishery performance; and that these fisheries ultimately demonstrate their sustainability through a robust, independent assessment process.
Our credible FIP definition is supported by a capacity building program and a series of fishery improvement tools [anchor to below?] – such as the Benchmarking and Tracking Tool – all of which help stakeholders, funders and retailers monitor the progress of FIPs against the MSC Fisheries Standard as a best practice benchmark.
Download The MSC definition of a credible FIP (PDF)
4 steps to a credible FIP
A credible FIP involves four key steps, each with associated tools and support mechanisms.
Undertake MSC pre-assessment
A gap analysis against the MSC Fisheries Standard is the first stage of a credible FIP. The MSC Pre-Assessment Template can be used for this and should be carried out by an approved assessor.
Develop an action plan for improvement
An action plan linked to MSC performance indicators and designed to close gaps in the performance of the fishery should be developed by someone with MSC expertise using the MSC Action Plan Tool. The end goal should be reaching the MSC Fisheries Standard.
Implement actions and track progress
Implement the actions as set out in action plan and track progress consistently and transparently using the MSC's Benchmarking and Tracking Tool. Progress should be publicly reported on an annual basis.
Enter full MSC assessment
Validate the improvements in the fishery toward sustainability through the comprehensive, transparent and independent MSC assessment process. This must be carried out by an accredited certification body.
Help for FIPs
Our technical consultants register below lists experts who can provide services to fisheries as they work towards meeting the MSC Standard.
Those listed on the register understand the requirements of the MSC Fisheries Standard. They can help with:
- Conducting a gap analysis of fishery performance against the Standard
- Developing and assisting in the implementation of a fisheries improvement action plan
- Project managing MSC assessments or liaising between the fishery and the assessment body
The technical consultant register is tiered. Individuals are listed as either technical consultants or associate technical consultants. The difference between the two tiers is the level of practical experience in the application of the MSC Fisheries Standard that the consultant has.
Name, email link and company
|African and developing country fisheries. Projects include Kenya. Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa.|
Fish Matter Pty Ltd
|Sustainability assessment, policy development, experience in Asia Pacific countries fisheries.|
Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd (Scotland office)
|Fisheries management, environmental interactions, environmental assessments and sustainable development. Experience in European and Asian fisheries.|
|Graeme MacFadyen |
Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd (Geneva office)
|Fisheries policy, management, MCS/IUU, economics, trade/marketing, value-chains, evaluation. Experience in Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa and Americas.|
MRAG Ltd, United Kingdom
|Fisheries resource assessment, marine fisheries development, resource survey, fisheries development policy and strategic planning.|
|Jo Gascoigne |
MacAlister Elliot and Partners (MEP)
|Fisheries consultant, specialising in fisheries assessment and management, management of shellfish resources and culture and environmental and ecological studies relating to fisheries.|
|Kevin Stokes |
|Wide ranging fisheries science, management, policy and governance. Experience working with government and industry and in multi-stakeholder settings.|
|Paul Medley |
Independent Consultant (UK)
|Fisheries stock assessment, specialisation in tropical small-scale fisheries, data collection and scientific management advice.|
|Richard Banks |
Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management (Pty) Ltd (Australia-Pacific office)
|Governance, fisheries policy and management, compliance, bycatch management, harvest strategies, rules and tools. Specialises in Australia, Pacific, all ASEAN countries, South Asia, China and New Zealand.|
|Rich Lincoln |
Ocean Outcomes (USA)
|Deep, diverse experience in fisheries management, research, policy, third-party certification, fishery assessments, and fishery improvement gap analyses and work plan design/consulting - in a wide range of jurisdictions, species and geographies.|
|Dr Rob Blyth-Skyrme |
Ichthys Marine Ecological Consulting Ltd. (UK)
|Fisheries science, management and policy specialist with experience in North America and Europe.|
|Rod Cappell |
Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd (Scotland office)
|Fisheries policy, economics and sustainable development. Experience in European, Asian and Middle Eastern fisheries.|
|Dr Sophie des Clers |
|Fisheries public and business policy, economics and management.|
|Tim Huntington |
Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd (UK Main office)
|Specialist in environmental interactions with fisheries (bycatch and discards, ETP, habitats and trophic changes) in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Particular experience with tuna, groundfish and shrimp fisheries.|
|Tristan Southall |
TDS Marine Resource Management (UK)
|Fishery policy analysis and marine consultancy.|
|Dr. Robert Wakeford |
MRAG Ltd. (UK)
|Fisheries management and policy, stock assessment, |
environmental impacts and programme management.
Experience of high latitude and tropical ecosystems,
including small-scale multi-species fisheries and
An associate technical consultant has had comprehensive training, but has not been part of a full MSC assessment or surveillance team.