Program Director | FishChoice
Kristin Sherwood is a Program Director at FishChoice, and her primary role is leading FisheryProgress.org, a new website that provides consistent, credible information about fishery improvement project progress. Kristin also helps to build organizational strategy, monitoring/evaluation, and foundation relationships at FishChoice. Kristin has more than 15 years of experience in international marine and coastal conservation, with a specific focus on strategic planning, capacity building, partnership development, and grant-making. Before joining FishChoice, Kristin ran the Conservation Partnership Initiative for The Nature Conservancy, and prior to that, she was a Program Officer at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Kristin holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Resource Management from James Cook University in Australia.
Currently, less than 15 percent of global wild capture fisheries are certified as sustainable. One key pathway to certified and positively rated sustainable seafood is through fisheries improvement projects (FIPs). Previously, it was hard for seafood companies and seafood-focused NGOs to know if a fishery was only a FIP in name or if it was making real progress towards sustainability on the water. Companies throughout the seafood supply chain needed simple, consistent, and trustworthy information to make decisions about whether a given fishery met their sustainable seafood commitments. In 2016, FishChoice and the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions, a collaboration of organizations focused on sustainable seafood, launched FisheryProgress.org – a website that tracks FIP progress in a clear, consistent and credible way.
Over 95 percent of the world’s FIPs are now listed on the website – including 43 FIPs that include tuna species. To ensure buyers have reliable information they need to make decisions about whether FIPs meet their sustainable seafood policies, FisheryProgress has strict performance and reporting requirements. All FIPs on FisheryProgress are required to report every six months and demonstrate progress in practice, policy, or on the water within three years. If a FIP does not meet those requirements, it is moved to an inactive status. Because active FIPs on FisheryProgress receive substantial market access, FIPs have a very clear incentive to publish on FisheryProgress, make demonstrable progress, and stay current with their reporting.
The industry now recognizes FisheryProgress as the place to find credible information about FIPs. Many North American and European retailers rely on FisheryProgress to inform their FIP sourcing practices, including hundreds of industry users across the supply chain. In this talk, we will introduce you to FisheryProgress and talk about the state of tuna FIPs globally and specifically in the Americas.
In recent years, researchers and media outlets have exposed human rights and labor abuses within seafood supply chains in both aquaculture and wild capture fisheries. Although media attention has focused on Thailand, human rights abuses in the seafood supply chain occur around the world including developed countries with well-managed fisheries.
FisheryProgress – the one-stop-shop website for reliable information about fishery improvement project (FIP) progress – is recognized as the global platform for FIP progress tracking. More than 95 percent of global FIPs use it for public reporting and accountability, but the website currently only tracks environmental performance information. It is clear that if FisheryProgress wants to be a true transparency platform for buyers, leaving out social responsibility means leaving a significant (and unconscionable) gap in information. It is also abundantly clear that FisheryProgress has a potentially critical role to play in calling attention to major social issues in fisheries and supporting workers and others in ensuring those claims are investigated and remediated. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the need, the interim solution that FisheryProgress launched in summer 2019, and the plans for a permanent policy to be launched in 2020.