Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) is pleased to announce a new, first-of-its-kind evaluation tool and grading system for fishery improvement projects (FIPs) that will allow the seafood industry and other stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of these initiatives.

SFP routinely collects data on FIPs, but this new component uses that data to provide the seafood industry with an easy-to-understand snapshot of a project’s status.

“This tool makes it even easier for our partners to see just where a FIP stands,” said Braddock Spear, SFP’s Systems Division Director. “It’s a great way to monitor a FIP’s progress toward sustainability.”

The tool defines six “stages” of achievement for each FIP. Each stage has a number of criteria, ranging from requiring fishery evaluations or assessments from third parties to demonstrating publicly that a FIP is working to achieving sustainability certification from a third party such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Based in part on what stage a particular FIP has reached, it will also receive a letter grade, from A to E, with an “A” grade indicating Exceptional Progress and an “E” grade indicating Negligible Progress. Current progress ratings are available at

“Sam’s Club and Walmart have been incorporating FIPs and AIPs into our sustainable seafood policy since 2010, when there were less than a half a dozen FIPs globally,” said Bob Fields, Senior Merchandise Director for Meat and Seafood at Sam’s Club. “Today, there are over a hundred, which is why we are excited to see SFP producing such a valuable addition to its already-useful FIP information tools.  We are committed to only sourcing from FIPs that demonstrate legitimate progress, and will use the ratings to monitor the progress of the FIPs that we source from.”

SFP plans to update and upgrade the tool in the future and welcomes input from users. Anyone with technical comments and questions may email

NOTE: SFP has also published a short document describing the stages and grading system in more detail. Click here to view it.