How we work

At the core of WWF’s fisheries conservation and seafood markets engagement work is the standards and certification approach [e.g. Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)].

In the Coral Triangle, most fisheries are a long way off being certified under third-party eco-labelling schemes, yet many regional seafood products are exported out of the region to markets that are embracing “sustainable seafood”. This is an opportunity to influence change in these export-oriented domestic fisheries, which in turn may filter down to local fishery supply chains.
 / ©: Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon
Palawan fish market selling tuna. Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. 9 April 2009
© Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon

Fishery and Aquaculture Improvement Projects

Fisheries and Aquaculture Improvement Projects (FIPs) have emerged as a tool to leverage consumer markets to support improved fisheries governance and operations in this region.

FIPs—a stepwise approach toward MSC certification— build a collaborative alliance of buyers, suppliers, and producers who work together to improve a fishery and are in turn rewarded for continual improvement.

These projects are increasingly led by industry, with NGOs like WWF providing technical support and expertise right across the supply chain. Recent examples of this work include WWF's development of the Vietnam Tuna Fisheries Improvement Plan (FIP) Roadmap.

Fishery Conservation Projects

Fishery Conservation Projects (FCPs) are a new approach with particular relevance to the developing world. FCP objectives relate to “improvements in the environmental performance of the fishery” and may be primarily catch-related or relate to bycatch or non-target species impacts.

Equally, an FCP may focus on improved environmental performance via information management and monitoring.

While there is no explicit link to third-party certification, the project activities would in all likelihood support some aspect of the MSC’s Principles and Criteria and may ultimately dovetail into a FIP.
 / ©: WWF
© WWF
 / ©: WWF
<10% of the world's seafood is certified by independent eco-labels such as the MSC
© WWF
 / ©: Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon
Live reef fish trade in Kudat. Split level of caged fish and caretaker. Kudat, Sabah, Malaysia. 30 June 2009
© Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon

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