Fishing for market solutions: Measuring the global performance of fishery improvement projects
Villeda, Karen T.
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Over the last decade, fishery improvement projects (FIPs) have proliferated across the globe as a credible, step-wise approach to improving environmental sustainability within a fishery. However, to date, only one assessment of FIP efficacy has been conducted indicating that FIPs compete with certified fish and create a ‘race to the bottom’ by gaining market access before demonstrating improvements on the water. This paper challenges that claim, and argues that FIPs – both those in the developing and developed world – are progressively improving over time. A global dataset of 127 FIPs was compiled, and a series of t-tests were conducted, indicating that the increased standardization of the FIP process has resulted in improved FIP implementation. The analysis finds that the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions’ introduction of FIP guidelines significantly decreased implementation time, and that who implements a FIP – whether they represent an NGO, industry, consultant, etc. – also impacts implementation time. Additionally, the study illustrates the need for continued, repeat evaluation of project efficacy.
- Marine affairs