Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) and the Hilborn Lab at the University of Washington today released a new version of their Fishery Improvement Projects Database (FIP-DB), developed for use by top fisheries management researchers. The updated 2021 database includes data on all 275 recorded fishery improvement projects (FIPs) known to have been publicly launched to date.

“Standardized and consistent analysis of FIP performance and characteristics is critical for establishing and improving FIPs,” said Nicole Baker Loke, research scientist in the Hilborn Lab. “As the demand for sustainable seafood continues to grow, it is vital to understand what policy approaches work successfully in a FIP, which countries and fisheries have made the most advances in terms of management performance, and what are the underlying factors that contribute to operational improvements in a fishery.”

Based on publicly available data, the FIP-DB is the most comprehensive database of its kind, with historical time series data on FIPs reaching back to 2003, when the first FIPs were established. The database provides an important tool for industry, non-profit stakeholders, and researchers to understand the influence of external factors on FIP performance and success, which can ultimately lead to better management decisions, better FIP design and implementation, and improvements on the water.

“The database is an invaluable asset for researchers wanting to understand the organizational landscape in which FIPs operate. It has formed the base for systematic analysis of the actions undertaken within FIPs to promote fisheries sustainability and the actors involved in each action – in different parts of the world, and across different fisheries. As such, it is a key resource for supporting analyses that can help identify opportunities and challenges that FIPs face,” said Beatrice Crona (Executive Director) and Sofia Käll (PhD Candidate), Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere Program, Royal Academy of Sweden.

The database now includes several years of FIP progress ratings and FishSource scores for fisheries that are or have been associated with FIPs. An updated tableau dashboard with some key insights and FIP-related indicators is also available. In this updated version, users are now also able to download a simplified version of the entire database.

“In the last two decades, FIPs have spread around the globe, from the first FIPs in industrial European whitefish fisheries in 2003 to more than 70 countries and 150 species, in both the industrial and artisanal sectors. Our FIP database is an important central resource for historical FIP-related data,” said SFP Senior Scientist Pedro Veiga.

The database complements and draws from existing web resources on FIPs, including, the one-stop shop for understanding current information about FIP progress. The updated database and related research are planned to be presented and discussed at the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade conference in Vigo, Spain, in July.

The FIP Research program also maintains an open access resource library, to highlight and collate scientific research relevant to FIPs. The ultimate goal of this library is to have all of the disparate sources of FIP-related information accessible in a single place. To contribute documents or other resources to the library, please contact SFP.