Our Approach

FisheryProgress, like the global fishery improvement projects (FIPs) it supports, was initially designed as a tool for reporting on environmental improvements. However, in recent years, investigations by NGOs and journalists have brought to light the urgent need to ensure human rights are protected in fisheries. These revelations helped launch a number of efforts in the sustainable seafood movement to address social responsibility in fisheries.

Many FisheryProgress stakeholders have also expressed an interest in addressing social performance in FIPs. FIP leads want to report in more detail on their social responsibility efforts. Businesses are under increasing pressure to assess human rights risks throughout their supply chains. A growing number of academics and NGOs working in fisheries agree that addressing social issues is necessary to achieve environmental sustainability.

Protecting the human rights of fishers is also of critical importance to FisheryProgress, a platform for tracking improvement over time. We expect FIPs to have environmental and social challenges and to work toward better performance. To support FIPs in this effort, we have developed a Human Rights and Social Responsibility Policy that outlines our expectations of FIPs reporting on FisheryProgress.

Read more about the process we undertook to develop the policy, our rationale for key decisions, and our plans for evaluating and strengthening the policy in the future in the policy cover letter ( English | 中文 | EspañolBahasa ).

Our Approach


Human Rights and Social Responsibility Policy

The FisheryProgress Human Rights and Social Responsibility Policy was developed over the course of 18 months from 2019 to 2021 through a rigorous stakeholder consultation process and with the oversight of the FisheryProgress Social Advisory Committee. The objective of the policy is to help FIPs reduce the risk of human and labor rights abuses and to provide a common framework for reporting on social performance in fisheries.

All FIPs reporting on FisheryProgress.org are required to comply with the policy.

You may access the Human Rights and Social Responsibility Policy in the following languages:


Read what our stakeholders are saying about the FisheryProgress approach to social responsibility here.

Social Responsibility Assessment Tool for the Seafood Sector (SRA)

Just as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Fisheries Standard is used as the framework for FIPs to report on environmental performance, the SRA is used as the framework for FIPs to report on social performance.

Learn more about the SRA here.

FisheryProgress Social Review Guidelines

As with the environmental reporting presented on the site, FisheryProgress reviews all social data submitted by FIPs. The review process is outlined in the FisheryProgress Social Review Guidelines. These guidelines provide detailed information on what social performance information must be provided when creating and updating a FIP.

Review the FisheryProgress Social Review Guidelines here.

The implementation of the Human Rights and Social Responsibility Policy does not mean that stakeholders using our site will be able to make claims that a particular FIP is socially responsible. Such claims are beyond the scope of FisheryProgress’ remit as a progress reporting platform. Rather, FisheryProgress will make transparent FIP social performance data. This information will help seafood buyers ascertain whether FIPs align with their companies’ requirements for human rights due diligence.


Allegations of Human Rights Violations

FisheryProgress is in the process of developing its policy for handling allegations of human rights violations in FIPs listed on the site, which we will release in late 2021.

Until the policy on allegations is released, FisheryProgress will review any public evidence of human rights violations pertaining to FIPs on the site. Examples of public evidence can include NGO or media reports with documented worker testimony, and government reports. FisheryProgress will publish a summary of any such evidence on FisheryProgress.org. We will also invite the FIP to provide a summary of any response to the allegation, including a report of any actions being taken to remediate the conditions set forth in the public evidence report. FisheryProgress reserves the right to request additional evidence of actions from the FIP, as needed to support the FIP’s response. All information related to an allegation will be accessible from the FIP’s Social Performance tab. Importantly, during this period, any publication by FisheryProgress of public allegations and a FIP’s response thereto does not represent any judgment by FisheryProgress regarding the merits of either the allegation or the response.

FisheryProgress may require that a FIP that is subject to an allegation complete a risk assessment against the FisheryProgress Human Rights Code of Conduct using the SRA, and develop a workplan to address any high-risk issues identified on a shorter timeline than it would otherwise be required to do so, depending on the nature of the allegation. The FIP will then be required to continue reporting on its social workplan and updating its risk assessment as outlined in Component 2 of the Human Rights and Social Responsibility Policy.

Resources on Social Responsibility for FIP Implementers

We understand social responsibility is a new focus for many fisheries and are actively working to develop and aggregate resources to support FIPs.

Find resources to support social responsibility in FIPs, including training on the new requirements, here.