Important note: The multispecies assessment documents are part of an ongoing pilot project and may only be used by fisheries that have been approved by MarinTrust as part of the pilot process. All pilot fisheries are required to apply as part of the MarinTrust Improver Programme.

This assessment is not used to assess fisheries that have been MarinTrust approved, nor does it form part of the certification process.  

The multispecies pilot assessment was launched on 12 October 2018 following approval by the GBC. The second version of the assessment criteria was approved at the end of 2020 and is currently being tested against real fisheries in SE Asia. This process is facilitated and led by a steering group (the MPSG) in order to ensure the multispecies pilot project runs smoothly and transparently. As part of this project, the MPSG will scrutinise the pilot process, identify areas of improvement and ultimately, make it fit for purpose.

The objective of the multispecies criteria is to enable the assessment of highly complex fisheries in which as many as 300 species are regularly caught. The criteria have been developed by experts and are based on 'best practice' fisheries management as specified in international norms and guidance. This includes the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as captured in the 1995 Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF), with additional input from the 2006 regionalisation of the code for Southeast Asia (Regional CCRF).

The multispecies pilot project is enabling MarinTrust to test the methodology in active fisheries so it can be fine-tuned, and ultimately, constitute a fully tested, robust and realistic set of criteria that can be included within the full MarinTrust fishery assessment. The aim is to incorporate the multispecies assessment into the MarinTrust Standard as a credible and recognised assessment framework with which to evaluate multispecies fisheries. Although the MarinTrust Standard’s unit of certification is the marine ingredient producing factory, it also requires an assessment of the fishery.

There are currently two fisheries that have applied the MarinTrust multispecies fishery assessment and have used its structure to develop Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs): the Gulf of Thailand mixed-trawl fishery (Thailand) and the Vung Tau multispecies fishery (Vietnam). Both FIPs are accepted on the MarinTrust Improver Programme as part of the multispecies pilot project. During the Improver Programme and pilot project process, the FIPs will have to meet a series of time-bound improvement milestones, specific to the Fishery Action Plan, demonstrating positive improvements within the fishery in line with the MarinTrust Improver Programme Application Mechanism (found here).

The current version of the multispecies assessment can be found in the downloads sections of this webpage and includes the assessment template and a condensed version of the assessment guidelines. If you are interested and would like to see the full version of the guidance document, please contact MarinTrust via the email below. 

You can find more information about the pilot project in our Q&A here.

There will be opportunities for stakeholder engagement in this process as it develops including workshops, public consultation and meetings. If you would like to know more, please contact MarinTrust at [email protected]