September 26, 2013
Overfishing isn’t just a threat to the commercial fishing industry — it results in severe repercussions for the millions of people who depend on healthy oceans for food security. As ocean health continues to decline, seafood retailers and companies of all sizes have begun to call attention to the dangers of overfishing and make bold commitments to source sustainable seafood. Why? The future of our oceans is on the line.
Fishery Improvement Projects, also known as FIPs, have emerged as a collaborative way to combat overfishing through an innovative multi-stakeholder effort. These projects are unique because they utilize the power of the private sector to incentivize positive changes toward sustainability in the fishery.
Participants can include stakeholders such as producers, NGOs, fishery managers, governmental groups and members of the fishery’s supply chain. FIPs connect organizations that have previously not worked together, empowering the multiple parties to figure out how to solve a pressing social problem and ensure that the fishery has the long-term economic and scientific support that it needs to reproduce and grow. Today, we need roughly 400 FIPs to meet buyer demand for sustainable seafood sourcing, and only about 80 are currently active in the marketplace.