Kristin Sherwood is a Program Director at FishChoice, and her primary role is leading FisheryProgress.org, a new website that provides consistent, credible information about fishery improvement project progress. Kristin also helps to build organizational strategy, monitoring/evaluation and foundation relationships at FishChoice. Kristin has more than 15 years of experience in international marine and coastal conservation, with a specific focus on strategic planning, capacity building, partnership development and grant-making. Before joining FishChoice, Kristin ran the Conservation Partnership Initiative for The Nature Conservancy, and prior to that, she was a Program Officer at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Kristin holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Resource Management from James Cook University in Australia.
Currently only approximately 12% of global wild capture fisheries are certified as sustainable. One key pathway to certified and positively rated sustainable seafood is through fisheries improvement projects (FIPs). Until a certification or rating is achieved, it has been hard for seafood companies and seafood focused NGOs to know if a fishery is only a FIP “on paper”, or if it is actually making real progress towards sustainability on the water. Companies throughout the seafood supply chain needed simple, consistent, and trustworthy information to make decisions about whether a given fishery met their sustainable seafood commitments. In 2016, FishChoice and a team of collaborating organizations, launched FisheryProgress.org – a website that presents FIP progress in a clear, consistent and credible way.
In order to eliminate greenwashing and reduce market access to underperforming or inactive FIPs, FisheryProgress created strict performance and reporting requirements. All FIPs on FisheryProgress are required to demonstrate progress in practice, policy or on-the-water in a 3-year timeframe – and to report every six months on FisheryProgress. If a FIP doesn’t meet those requirements, they are moved to an “inactive” status on FisheryProgress and no longer receive a FIP Progress Rating (created by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership). Because active FIPs on FisheryProgress receive substantial market access, and FIP Progress Ratings are embedded in many company commitments, FIPs have a very clear incentive to publish on FisheryProgress, make demonstrable progress and stay current with their reporting.
Industry now recognizes FisheryProgress as the one place to find credible information about FIPs. Many North American and European retailers now rely on FisheryProgress to inform their FIP sourcing practices. Approximately 40% of all 1600+ registered users on FisheryProgress come from industry – across the supply chain. We now have 140 FIPs reporting on the website, including 37 FIPs that include tuna species. In this talk, we will introduce you to FisheryProgress and summarize the state of tuna FIPs globally.