Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) is pleased to introduce the Introduction to Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIP) and the  Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP) Toolkit, an online resource to support new AIPs and accelerate the adoption of better management practices across aquaculture industries.

Similar to fishery improvement projects (FIPs), an AIP is a multi-stakeholder process that addresses the cumulative environmental impacts and the shared risks associated with aquaculture. These projects utilize the power of the private sector to promote positive changes toward sustainability and seek to make these changes endure through policy change. If the industry works to develop AIPs in the same way it has worked to develop FIPs, SFP believes the aquaculture industry will thrive by addressing some of its key challenges, such as disease outbreaks and poor water quality.

“Compared to FIPs, the concept of an AIP is relatively new, less familiar, and far less established within the seafood industry,” said Dave Martin, deputy division director, programs at SFP. “However, they are an equally important mechanism for the supply chain to support industries along the journey toward sustainability.

“The new AIP Toolkit provides step-by-step guidance on how to initiate, implement, and report an AIP, and ultimately improve aquaculture policy and management strategies that result in improvements on the water. To make it more familiar and easy to use, SFP has adapted the AIP toolkit from the established guidelines for FIPs created by the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions, and the AIP Toolkit’s style mirrors SFP’s existing FIP Toolkit and Resources. The toolkit includes an introduction to AIPs, general guidance on how to start an AIP, as well as templates and example documentation to support project implementation.

“We aren’t reinventing the wheel here. We’ve taken a model that is well-known to industry – the FIP model – and adapted it to the unique challenges of aquaculture,” said SFP CEO Jim Cannon. “Many of the steps in an AIP mirror the core attributes of a FIP: public supply chain commitments, published needs assessments, workplans with time-bound objectives, and regular public reporting of progress.”

The AIP toolkit notes that, in line with the FAO’s Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture (EAA), an AIP should operate at a scale beyond the farm level and focus on improved management at the resource, watershed, or landscape level (commonly referred to as zonal or area management). A report co-published last year by SFP, Conservation International, and the University California Santa Barbara’s Sustainable Fisheries Group is a complementary resource to the AIP toolkit that provides implementation guidance on three key principles of the EAA. All of this information, and more, can be found on SFP’s website’s Aquaculture Program section

Direct link to toolkit—

Contact: Sean Murphy, SFP Communications Director