The objective of the multispecies criteria is to enable the assessment of highly complex fisheries in which sometimes hundreds of 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 including the 1982 Convention of 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 pilot project will enable MarinTrust to test the methodology in active fisheries so it can be refined and will be considered as one of the requirements for acceptance onto the MarinTrust Improver Programme and ultimately develop a credible and realistic set of criteria to eventually include within the full MarinTrust fishery assessment.

Multispecies fisheries that are a part of this pilot approach must comply with the MarinTrust Improver Programme Application Mechanism (found here) and associated assurance process. They must also actively demonstrate genuine improvement and meet clearly defined targets over an agreed period. The end goal of this pilot is to provide a credible and recognised assessment framework to evaluate multispecies fisheries.

Following the approval of the Multispecies pilot by the GBC on 12th October 2018, a steering group has been formed (MPSG) in order to ensure the Multispecies Pilot Project runs smoothly and transparently and as part of this they will scrutinise the pilot process, identify areas of improvement and ultimately make it fit for purpose. A second version of these criteria are currently being finalised and will allow for an updated assessment and action plan to be developed for the pilot fisheries.

There are currently two FIPs that have been accepted onto the Improver Programme as part of the multispecies pilot project, the Gulf of Thailand mixed-trawl fishery and the Vung Tau multispecies fishery, Vietnam. More details can be found on the accepted FIPs page 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