In an effort to engage more major seafood buyers in sustainable sourcing, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) announces the launch of a new version of FishSource (www.fishsource.com), an online resource about the status of fish stocks and fisheries.
FishSource provides major seafood buyers with up-to-date, impartial, actionable information on the sustainability of fisheries and the improvements they need to make to become sustainable.
The updated FishSource site offers users updated and expanded profiles, easier access to fisheries through improved search engines as well as a comprehensive FAQs section. Regular updates will be provided through a news section. Changes to the site were made with the aim of providing users with a better understanding of the status of fisheries and fish stocks FishSource covers. More than 180 fisheries profiles are on FishSource now and new profiles are being added all the time.
“We created FishSource so that fisheries experts around the world could openly share their public scientific and technical information and provide major seafood buyers with information on the status of fisheries and the improvements they need to make to become sustainable,” said Jim Cannon, CEO of SFP. “We’re lowering the key barrier to entry for companies to engage in sustainable sourcing.”
FishSource compiles and summarizes all the information analysts need to evaluate sustainability in one place without making any judgements on sustainability. This freely available data enables companies access to information and provides an open source platform for them to conduct their own assessments based on the available data.
FishSource addresses the status of fisheries and of fish stocks through the lenses of the worldwide most accredited sustainability standards:
- How well is the fishery managed? Do stock assessment use up-to date methods? What is the scientific advice provided and how autonomous is it from the decision-making process of fisheries management? What are the management measures in place? Do they deal with the scientific advice? What is the compliance level of fishers? Do they operate with the quotas and limits that are set? Is illegal fishing occurring?
- What is the status of the stock? Are there any reference points in place and if so are they precautionary? What is the current stock and harvest levels against the reference points set? What are the trends of biomass, fishing mortality, catch, recruitment, and of other important variables? If the stock is in bad condition are there any measures set towards recovery?
- Environment and Biodiversity. What are the most relevant facts related to the fishery? Are there any Protected, Endangered or Threatened (PET) species impacted by the fishery? Can such impact be measured? What is the level of bycatch? What is the impact of fishing activities and fishing gears upon environment? Are there any marine reserves or protected / no-take areas defined? How do they relate with what is known about the biodiversity relevance of coastal areas, continental shelves and slopes?
How FishSource works
FishSource works as a “common shared database”. Analysts from NGOs (including SFP), aquariums, seafood companies, industry associations, and governments share public data. By doing this FishSource lightens the burden of doing the basic research behind sustainability evaluations, allowing analysts to cover many more fisheries.
FishSource is also an “online contributor network” (similar to a moderated wiki). Invited experts contribute material on individual issues in individual fisheries write parts of the basic research profiles. Experts provide information on fundamental aspects from the fisheries such as stock status, fisheries management, gear technology or impacts on endangered species and habitats. The contributor network allows us to collect more information on less well-known fisheries in developing countries.