Improvement Projects aim to develop multi-stakeholder alliances and identify and address specific sustainability concerns and/or aspects of:
- A wild capture fishery, in the case of Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), also known as Fisheries in Transition (FIT); or,
- Aquaculture production, in the case of Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIPs).
These multi-stakeholder alliances can include the catching sector, producers, retailers, processors, regulators, scientists etc. The organisation and structure of Improvement Projects are flexible and vary on a case by case basis.
The ideal outcomes of time-bound Improvement Projects are also tailored to the fishery or aquaculture operation in question and can include biological, economic and/or socio-economic objectives. For example, biological objectives can include:
- Achieving the environmental standards of certification bodies (e.g. by the Marine Stewardship Council, Aquaculture Stewardship Council etc);
- Stepwise progress towards the environmental standards of certification bodies; or,
- Improving environmental sustainability through changes to management and practices.
FIPs and AIPs are effective across a wide range of applications due to their flexibility. An important pre-requisite common to both approaches is good communication and coordination between all relevant stakeholders in addition to the development of routine project monitoring and evaluation. This ensures progress of each planned improvement can be gauged against pre-determined milestones.
MRAG can provide a complete range of services to develop and implement FIPs and AIPs, or provide specific technical advice on key elements within an existing project.