Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)


G.U.L.F. works on fishery improvement projects (FIPs) across the Gulf region. Through a grant from the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (GSMFC) in, G.U.L.F. developed region-specific FIPs, called Marine Advancement Plans (MAPs) based on the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Our projects provide a hands-on approach, working with the community through each step of the process.


What is a FIP?

Fishery Improvement Projects are a way to verify the sustainability of a fishery while also addressing any potential gaps of challenges within the fishery. With the input of management agencies and industry members, G.U.L.F. designs action plans that map the way toward positive change. G.U.L.F. tailors FIPs based on the needs of participants, referring to the guidelines from the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions when requested.

Where do FIPs fit in?

There are many definitions of sustainability, especially as it relates to seafood. Some businesses, such as grocery stores and restaurants, are looking for assurances of sustainability for domestic and international fisheries. While the criteria within these programs vary to some extent, there are overarching criteria that are relatively consistent.

1. Stock must be harvested at a level in which it can replenish itself.

2. Fishing methods must cause minimal environmental impacts.

3. The fishery must be compliant with national and international laws.

A FIP takes these criteria into consideration, and includes the sustainability of fishermen’s livelihood. G.U.L.F. actively works with management and the seafood industry to ensure that a FIP is holistic and provides a complete picture of a fishery. For more information about FIP criteria or the FIP process, contact us.

MAPs Progress Flowchart

 Next Steps: Certification

The demand for extra assurance of responsible management is ever-increasing in today’s global seafood market, and sometimes simply saying that a fishery is sustainable is not enough. G.U.L.F. understands that not everyone feels certification is necessary to achieve their goals for greater sustainability, but for those fisheries who wish to explore activities beyond the completion of a MAP, G.U.L.F. supports the endeavor, and is here to help.

G.U.L.F. has the expertise and knowledge to act as a guide through the complexities of selecting a certification system, ensuring that a fishery chooses a third-party party model that best fits their needs as an industry. After carefully reviewing all of the options, if a fishery desires certification, G.U.L.F. will be there every step of the way to facilitate the process of obtaining certification to document and confirm that the fishery is sustainable.

More about the Audubon G.U.L.F. Responsible Fisheries Management Certification

G.U.L.F. RFM Certified Fisheries

Louisiana Blue Crab

Download the Audubon Gulf Seafood Guide mobile app:
Click here for the app tutorial on YouTube.
Sponsored and coordinated by Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.
Authorized by the five Gulf state marine resource management agencies.
NOAA Award #NA10NMF4770481.