Position your wild-capture fishery to meet the growing demand for sustainable seafood with a well-designed and validated Fishery Improvement Project (FIP). SCS provides project design and validation services to support successful FIPs outcomes.
FIPs is the international designation for strategic work plans that enable fisheries to become more sustainable, efficient and competitive. FIPs help you demonstrate your sustainability commitment to sustainability to buyers, consumers, retailers, community leaders and other key stakeholders.
We offer design and validation services for two types of FIPs:
Please contact us to learn how to structure your FIP and future MSC assessment in a manner that works for you. If you intend to proceed to full MSC certification, we will work with you to prevent potential conflicts of interest, depending upon how extensively we are involved in the implementation of the FIP.
SCS offers a full suite of complementary services for the seafood industry, including:
A wide range of areas can be included in your FIP, such as:
Depending upon the FIP, deliverables can include:
SCS understands the need to use expert time wisely and to design work plans responsive to local capacity.
Any freshwater or marine fishery – regardless of size, gear, scale, ecology, or geography – can undertake a FIP, including:
Eligible clients include industry associations, cooperatives, suppliers, NGOs, government agencies, and local management authorities. SCS can address the needs of clients in developing countries and those in data-poor situations.
SCS’ team of experts meets with you to determine which FIP option would work best for your fishery. We customize the FIP scope to address your fishery’s opportunities for improvement against your objectives and market drivers.
Authorize a Work Order
SCS prepares a written proposal with a timeline, budget and work order for your approval. When the proposal has been accepted, and the work order signed, a neutral third party initiates a conflict of interest provision between your organization and SCS.
A SCS technical coordinator helps you assemble preliminary documentation that will be submitted to SCS. We review documentation against objectives in order to determine focal areas for your FIP and also to pinpoint any data gaps that must be addressed in order to fully understand your fishery’s impact.
A team of experts and auditors conducts on-site visits to further collect and evaluate data. The team interacts with your technical staff to gather, clarify and obtain any additional information that might help identify improvement opportunities.
Based on findings from documentation and onsite visits, SCS helps you develop strategic goals that will deliver cost-effective, measureable improvements. These goals could be comprehensive or could focus on just one technical area, depending on your needs.
Work Plan and Tool Development
The SCS team works with your organization to develop work plans and tools to meet your FIP goals. These tools could include data collection and tracking systems, metric development, governance and policy recommendations, communication strategies and more.
You may opt to have SCS convene key stakeholders to provide feedback on your FIP. Stakeholder review is valuable for creating strategic alliances and obtaining insight into how best to communicate your efforts.
We report findings, recommendations and preliminary results. Your organization has the opportunity to revise the report so that all parties have the same understanding of the improvements and the path forward. SCS can also advise on a communications plan to key stakeholders.
We provide ongoing support to help you track progress, to provide further guidance, and to update scores against benchmarking tools.
Enhancing the sustainability of your fishery can yield efficiencies within your operations and give you a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Any freshwater or marine fishery - regardless of size, scale, ecology, or geography - can conduct a FIP. Eligible fisheries include, but are not limited to:
FIPs provide insight into management performance and establish actionable steps to protect stocks, livelihoods and market relationships. A FIP is an investment in the future of your business.
A management commitment to responsible fishing and transparency is recommended before pursuing an MSC-Benchmarked FIP. Full assessment does not have to be the goal of an MSC-Benchmarked FIP. The MSC framework is useful regardless of performance or certification objectives because it is an accepted system for demonstrating progress that is familiar to international markets and buyers.
Any wild-caught fishery is ready for a Flexible FIP. The Flexible FIP could target one area of improvement (e.g., ecosystem stewardship; gear modification to lessen habitat damage; decreasing uncertainty in existing stock assessment methods; reducing bycatch), or could be comprehensive, addressing multiple areas.
Completion of a FIP can require several weeks to more than a year, depending on the scope of the FIP and the complexity of the fishery.
The completion of a FIP does not result in eligibility to use a certification label, but it can be used to benchmark a fishery against performance indicators within the MSC standard. Working with an accredited certification body such as SCS assures your clients that they can trust the results of your initiative. An MSC-Benchmarked FIP helps prepare your fishery for a full MSC assessment, which does allow use of the highly recognized MSC ecolabel.
As the first certifier to issue Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certificates, SCS has been conducting full assessments, pre-assessments, and improvement initiatives in the Americas, Asia, Russia, and Australia/NZ since 1999. SCS can design FIPs fully aligned with the MSC system, parts of it, or unique goals specific to a given fishery. Working with SCS gives you access to a global network of marine science and fishery experts who can be brought together to provide guidance tailored to your specific needs.