Year in Review

Highlights from 2023

The business of sustainable seafood

At SFP, we believe that the business of sustainability is everyone’s business. That’s why we work with actors throughout the seafood supply chain to ensure that best practices are implemented, all voices are heard, and improvement efforts stick and lead to tangible results on the water. Our 2022-23 annual report, The Business of Sustainable Seafood, highlighted some of our successes and achievements from that approach.

Supporting Small-Scale Fisheries

Peru small-scale fishers

The government of Peru issued an historic decree to enable fisher registration by cooperatives in the artisanal mahi-mahi and jumbo flying squid fisheries. This removes barriers for more than 900 artisanal vessels in major fisher organizations to be able to operate legally in Peruvian waters, and clears the way for full formalization of the entire artisanal fleet. SFP provides technical support and advice to the organizations working toward this goal. 

Women sorting fish in Indonesia

More than 400 small-scale snapper-grouper fishers in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, established a new fishers’ network. The Forum Komunikasi Nelayan Kakap-Kerapu Indonesia (Forkom Narasi), is a first step toward increased participation by the catch sector in fisheries governance and management through co-management. SFP facilitated the establishment of the forum and is supporting fisher and vessel registration. 

Promoting Regenerative Aquaculture

Screenshot of Aquascape mangrove shrimp farming mapping tool

SFP and Longline Environment unveiled a new aquaculture mapping tool to advance mangrove habitat regeneration. The tool identifies where shrimp farming is located within or adjacent to mangrove habitat in India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Chris and Jim sitting down signing MOU at Seafood Expo Global.
Habitat Regeneration

SFP and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on sustainable aquaculture production and practices around the world, starting with enhancing the scope and reach of aquaculture improvement projects (AIPs).

Protecting Ocean Wildlife

Bycatch Solutions Hub logo

We officially launched our Bycatch Solutions Hub, along with founding sponsor Purina Europe. The Hub is a web-based platform connecting retailers and businesses that want to financially support projects to reduce ocean wildlife bycatch with organizations capable of implementing in-the-water solutions.

Kathryn Novak and Adam Brennan with Protecting Ocean Wildlife pledge
Protecting Ocean Wildlife Pledge

We unveiled our Protecting Ocean Wildlife Pledge, asking seafood companies to commit to reducing bycatch of vulnerable marine wildlife in commercial fisheries. Thai Union was the inaugural signer of the Pledge, followed by Beaver Street Fisheries and Giant Eagle. 

Solve my bycatch problem tool
Solve My Bycatch Problem Tool

We updated our interactive Solve My Bycatch Problem tool to include solutions for pot and trap fisheries, in addition to longline fisheries. 

Combating IUU Fishing

Launch of the Nature Crime Alliance
  • SFP joined the World Resources Institute (WRI), the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, the U.S. State Department, and others as a founding member of the Nature Crime Alliance. The Alliance brings together critical stakeholders to combat a broad range of nature crimes. SFP will participate with our work on combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. 
Sari Surjadi speaking at the Responsible Seafood Summit in the Philippines
Better Seafood Philippines

The US Agency for International Development’s Fish Right Program hosted the first Responsible Seafood Summit on how to combat IUU fishing in the Philippines. The Summit fostered greater awareness and support for responsible seafood sourcing and the RSS standards developed by Fish Right and SFP, and highlighted milestones and industry partnerships developed under the Better Seafood Philippines (BSP) program, led by SFP and supported by USAID. 

Peru jumbo flying squid fishing

The South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFMO) approved new measures for the transshipment of jumbo flying squid, a regulation that can help reduce IUU fishing. Prior to the meeting, members of SFP’s Global Squid Supply Chain Roundtable expressed support for CALAMASUR, the industry group that was a key force in getting SPRFMO delegates to pass this regulation.

Fishing boats

Reflections on a partnership

SFP and Thai Union marked the first year of our partnership with a progress review report and a blog on the company’s commitments.

Learn more about our partnership

Supply Chain Roundtables expand seafood sector sustainability efforts

Our Supply Chain Roundtables (SRs) bring together major seafood buyers and suppliers to work together pre-competitively to scale-up sustainability in specific seafood sectors. Highlights from 2023 included:

Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishing boat
US Gulf of Mexico Shrimp

SFP’s U.S. Gulf of Mexico Shrimp SR celebrated the news that the American Shrimp Processors Association entered the U.S. Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery into sustainability assessments under the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Certified Seafood Collaborative (CSC) Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) certification programs. SFP has been working with processors and distributors in this fishery for 15 years.

Global Squid SR
Global Squid

Following on last year’s public commitment to prevent IUU fishing in their supply chains, the members of SFP’s Global Squid SR signed an MoU demonstrating their commitment to implementing the strategy. In the MOU, the companies also commit to better traceability and transparency in their own supply chains, beginning with strengthening their procurement policies.

Octopus meeting at Seafood Expo Global 2023
Global Octopus

Stakeholders from the Mauritanian octopus fishery, supported by SFP’s Global Octopus SR, signed an MoU to establish a fishery improvement project (FIP) in the fishery and begin defining a workplan and activities.

Global Roundtable logo
Global Marine Ingredients(coordinated by IFFO)
fish on counter in Ukraine

SR Industry Chairs

SR industry chairs work closely with SFP leads to set priorities, drive progress, recruit participants and seek funding. In 2023, several SRs welcomed new industry chairs:

SFP Supply Chain Roundtables

SFP science supports seafood sustainability

SFP’s Science and Fisheries teams expanded their contributions to the science of seafood sustainability in 2023.

2023 Reduction Fisheries Report Part 1
Reduction Fisheries Reports

The 14th edition of SFP’s annual sustainability overview of reduction fisheries found that South American reduction fisheries continue to decline or are stagnant in their management performance. The majority of fisheries assessed in the report continue to be reasonably well-managed or better, but performance has been slowly declining since 2018.

Ocean and Coastal Management journal

Research by SFP in Ocean & Coastal Management showed that engaging resource users in regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) governance can help RFMOs more effectively meet their objectives. The authors recommend co-management mechanisms to enable effective participation of artisanal and small-scale fishers in RFMO decisions that affect their livelihoods.

2022 T75 Sectors Status Update report cover
Sector Sustainability Updates

As part of our Sector Sustainability Updates series, SFP reports found that, while the reported production and trade of octopus and mahi-mahi have increased significantly in recent decades, a lack of data and inadequate regulations present a challenge to sustainable management of these fisheries. In addition, our overall T75 Sectors Status Update summarized progress in 13 seafood sectors, along with information on significant changes in production sources and the latest trends in production and trade.

FIP research database screenshot of Tableau dashboard

SFP and the Hilborn Lab at the University of Washington celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Fishery Improvement Projects Database (FIP-DB) with the release of an updated version that includes data on all 300 FIPs initiated to date.

SFP tools power industry commitments and accountability

  • A new score in SFP’s Seafood Metrics allows seafood buyers to easily identify fisheries with bycatch of endangered, threatened, and protected (ETP) species. The ETP risk score, which is designed to align with our Protecting Ocean Wildlife initiative, is one of four new scores recently added to FishSource to measure environmental and biodiversity impacts. 
  • Good Chop, a US-based meat and seafood home delivery subscription service, and Canadian food retailer METRO began publishing details of their wild-caught and farmed seafood sourcing in the Ocean Disclosure Project (ODP) in 2023.

SFP on the air

The Catch podcast logo

Two SFP staffers were featured on The Catch, a podcast from Foreign Policy and the Walton Family Foundation. In season 2, Supply Chain Roundtables Director Megan Westmeyer discussed the intersection of Mexico’s Upper Gulf of California shrimp fishery and threatened habitats of the endangered vaquita porpoise and totoaba. In season 3, Chief Executive Officer Jim Cannon looked back at his experiences working with the seafood industry to help save the North Atlantic cod fisheries from further collapse in the 1980s and 1990s. 

Aquademia podcast logo

Two members of SFP’s Aquaculture Team were featured on the Global Seafood Alliance’s Aquademia Podcast. Aquaculture Director Jenna Stoner spoke about aquaculture improvement projects (AIPs), while Aquaculture Information Manager Paul Bulcock spoke about regenerative aquaculture.

Danica Williams, supply development specialist at Bluer Seas Philippines (BSP), spoke about responsible seafood during a Business Roadshow feature on the Philippines ANC news channel. BSP is SFP’s implementing partner through our ongoing collaboration with the USAID FishRight program in the Philippines.

Becky Andong, BSP senior program manager, was interviewed on CNN Philippines about BSP’s work and the first Responsible Seafood Summit.

Learn more about SFP

Contact us to learn more about SFP’s progress in improving the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture around the world.