A fishery improvement project is a multi-stakeholder effort to address environmental challenges in a fishery. These projects harness the power of the private sector to incentivize positive changes toward sustainability. Suppliers, retailers, and food-service companies can support the efforts of their source fisheries by participating in or buying products from fishery improvement projects.

The Conservation Alliance supports the efforts fisheries are making to improve the sustainability of their seafood products. There are many different ways to address management and environmental problems in fisheries, including policy change, targeted strategies such as bycatch reduction, and multi-stakeholder efforts called fishery improvement projects. We believe all of these methods are valuable and play an important role in helping fisheries become more sustainable over time.

“As a supporter of the Conservation Alliance, we have used the information and suggestions presented to expand our involvement in fishery improvement projects. We feel very strongly that responsible sourcing and working toward improving wild and farmed seafood fisheries are powerful steps in preserving this wonderful resource long into the future.”

Carl P. Salamone, V.P. Seafood Sustainability, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.

In 2012, the Conservation Alliance released its first set of guidelines for fishery improvement projects with the expectation that these guidelines would need to evolve over time. Since then, the number of fishery improvement projects around the world has increased substantially.

Based on feedback from the Alliance community and industry and fishery stakeholders, the Alliance updated the Guidelines for Supporting Fishery Improvement Projects in March 2015 to be as clear as possible and recognize advances in the fishery improvement project landscape. The Alliance also created a glossary to explain key terms used in the guidelines.

There is a growing need for a one-stop source of information about fishery improvement projects. The Conservation Alliance is now developing a fishery improvement project tracking website. The Alliance intends the website to be a comprehensive, public, online database that makes information about fishery improvement projects accessible to conservation groups, suppliers, and retailers, among other audiences.

“The Conservation Alliance’s Fishery Improvement Project guidelines were invaluable as we decided which first steps to take in the development of the Mexican Grouper FIP.”

Adriana Sánchez-Lindsay, Sustainability Coordinator, Sea Delight