The North East Atlantic Blue Whiting Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) fishery has been accepted onto the MarinTrust Improver Programme (IP) following an application submitted by the North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy (NAPA) group and thoroughly examined by MarinTrust’s Improver Programme Application Committee (IPAC) and Governing Body Committee (GBC).
The NAPA group acts as the FIP coordinator.
The MarinTrust Improver Programme (IP) is a structured, timebound process, through which marine ingredient production factories sourcing from improving fisheries (i.e. Fishery Improvement Projects) can gain recognition of their production. It is not a standard and does not allow certification claims. Only production sites that apply to MarinTrust to add the FIP Blue Whiting to their scope and are listed on the MarinTrust website under the Improver Accepted Sites section can make an Improver Programme claim.
During the Improver Programme process, the FIP will have to meet a series of time-bound improvement milestones, specific to the Fishery Action Plan. These allow the fishery to demonstrate positive improvements within the fishery with the ultimate aim of meeting all the MarinTrust fishery assessment requirements (based on the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries) once all the improvements have been implemented.
The aim of the ongoing work within the NAPA group is to build a comprehensive engagement strategy with key decision-makers: industry representatives, any marine ingredient company that wishes to use the MarinTrust IP claim, relevant Government representation, fisher representatives and, potentially, National or International NGOs. This should pave the way for the non-conformance identified by the MSC, ie quota settings higher than the scientific advice for catches, to be lifted.
The applicant FIP must meet improvement milestones during the process and must conform to the surveillances and peer reviews throughout.
Full details about the MarinTrust Improver Programme and how to get involved can be found on the MarinTrust website here.