The following is guidance for users looking to create or update a FIP profile. For detailed information on the protocols FisheryProgress.org uses to review and display FIP information, see our FIP Review Guidelines. For definitions of terms used throughout the site, please read our glossary.
Adding a new FIP profile
To create a new FIP profile, you must either create an account or log into an existing account. Once logged in, click Add or Update a FIP then click the “Add Profile” button.
You may create a profile for a basic, comprehensive, or prospective FIP. FisheryProgress.org defines each of these as follows:
- Basic FIPs
- Basic FIPs are a good entry point for fisheries to begin addressing specific environmental challenges to improve their performance against the Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries Standard. Basic FIPs complete a needs assessment to understand the challenges in the fishery.
- Comprehensive FIPs
- Comprehensive FIPs aim to address all of the fishery’s environmental challenges necessary to achieve a level of performance consistent with an unconditional pass of the Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries Standard. Comprehensive FIPs engage a party experienced with applying the MSC standard to complete an MSC pre-assessment to understand the challenges in the fishery and must have independent, in-person audits of progress against the MSC standard every three years.
- Prospective FIPs
- Prospective FIPs intend to meet the requirements for basic or comprehensive FIPs and are currently in stage 0 or 1. Prospective FIPs may be listed for 12 months. The reviewer will remove them if the FIP has not completed stage 2 by the end of 12 months.
To help ease the process of creating a FIP profile, you can use this spreadsheet to compile your data into one place.
You can also add industry engagement opportunities for your FIP on the site. Engaging seafood companies effectively can help ensure forward progress in your FIP; you can use this worksheet to help you develop publicly available FIP engagement opportunities.
Once you’ve created a FIP profile, you can return here to edit your profile by clicking Add or Update a FIP then selecting a profile to edit from the drop-down box.
Reporting progress on a FIP
All FIPs listed on FisheryProgress.org must report progress according to the following timelines.
- Six-Month Reporting on Action Progress
- Every six months, all FIPs must submit evidence demonstrating activity progress, and provide a written description of progress. Download an instructional PDF on how to complete 6-month progress reporting here here.
- Annual Reporting
- Every 12 months, all FIPs must update their indicator scores to reflect progress made in the FIP. FIPs report any changes in score (an increase within a scoring range or to the next scoring range) and provide a brief written rationale for the changes. There are two ways a FIP can provide evidence for score changes: 1) The written rationale can point to evidence for action progress (see above); and/or 2) If the score changes are the result of demonstrated improvements in policy, management, or fishing practices or improvements on the water, not reflected in the action progress evidence, the FIP must submit supplemental evidence for the score change. Download an instructional PDF on how to complete annual progress reporting here.
- Three-Year Auditing
- Every three years, comprehensive FIPs are required to have an independent, in-person audit of action results and performance against the MSC standard (in-person may mean the location of the fishery, the location of FIP stakeholders, or where workplan actions take place). The audit should be completed by someone who is both experienced with the MSC standard (e.g., is a registered MSC technical consultant or accredited conformity assessment body or has other demonstrated qualifications approved by the reviewer) and independent from the organization implementing the FIP (i.e., not a FIP participant or FIP lead, and has not been an employee of either within the past three years). FIPs must use the three-year audit template.
- One-Time Report Deadline Extension
- An established FIP (i.e. those that create a profile after implentation has already started) may request a one-time adjustment of up to three months to its six-month report due date to better align with the FIP's work cycle with valid explanation for the adjustment.
You can read more about our reporting requirements in the FIP Review Guidelines.
What happens when a FIP is complete?
Completed FIPs are those that have achieved their objectives and/or graduated to MSC full assessment or other program assessment. A FIP can be considered completed if it achieves its objectives even if it chooses not to enter certification (or for basic FIPs, if performance doesn’t reach the level required for certification). For basic FIPs, independent verification (i.e., completed by someone not affiliated with the FIP) could include a revised assessment report, government report, or peer-reviewed paper. For FIPs pursuing certification, the certification report serves as independent verification.
Completed FIPs will be left on the site indefinitely. FisheryProgress does not continue to review FIPs progress or data once marked as completed on the site.
What happens when a FIP fails to report progress?
A report will be considered missed if not completed within one month of the deadline. To be considered complete, a FIP must submit its report and address any issues flagged by the reviewer. If a report is not completed within one month of the deadline, the FIP’s missed report deadline will be highlighted in red on the FIP overview page.
If the FIP completes a missed report after one month, the passed deadline distinction will be removed but the report will still be considered missed. Two missed reports will render the FIP inactive.
If a FIP misses an annual report, all annual report requirements outlined above (including updating indicator scores) must be met in the following reporting cycle. The FIP’s next annual report date will be adjusted to 12 months from the completed report date.
Inactive FIPs are those that suspended work before achieving their objectives, due to them reporting they are suspending work or the reviewer designating them as inactive due to one year of failure to report (i.e. missing two six-month reporting deadlines) or three years of insufficient progress (i.e. the FIP has delivered no stage 4 or 5 outcomes within three years).
What happens if there are changes in a FIP, such as personnel or direction?
Changes may occur over the life of a FIP. The following outlines how the reviewer will respond to minor and significant scope changes (the FIP will submit changes to actions, tasks, and deadlines in the workplan during its six- and 12-month progress reports).
- For minor changes (e.g., change in FIP lead, new participants added), the reviewer will ensure the change is made on the website. Reporting deadlines will remain the same.
- For significant scope changes, the reviewer will work with the FIP to ensure it uploads updated materials, complete an annual review, and reset the annual review date. If the change is due to increased ambition or scope (e.g., transition from basic to comprehensive), the FIP’s new information will be published as soon as it’s reviewed. For other changes (e.g., reduction in FIP objectives, majority of participants leave), the reviewer may remove the FIP from the website for a maximum of six months. The FIP’s annual reporting cycle will be adjusted to align with the date it is republished to the site.
For examples of potential changes and how they will be handled, please see the FIP Review Guidelines.
If a FIP wants to extend its end date, it must provide the reviewer with an updated end date, associated action plan, and an explanation of the extension. This explanation will be added to the end of the FIP’s description. The FIP must continue to meet the other criteria for the site to remain active.
If an inactive FIP is restarted/merged into a new FIP, the FIP has two options. The FIP may:
- Reactive the old profile. The profile is changed from inactive to active, though it must maintain the original profile’s start date. The FIP may update all other information and submit for review noting the rules for significant scope changes outlined earlier in this section apply.
- Create a new FIP profile, and maintain the old profile which will remain in the inactive section indefinitely.
If a current FIP has questions about whether changes require the FIP to be reassessed, please visit the Contact page to send us a message.