Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

A way to make good Gulf fisheries great.


G.U.L.F. works on fishery improvement projects (FIPs) across the Gulf region. In addition to standard industry FIPs that can be Marine Stewardship Council based, G.U.L.F. has also developed Marine Advancement Plans (MAPs), a type of FIP based on the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries Management. Our projects provide a hands-on approach, working with the community through each step of the process.

What is a MAP?

Marine Advancement Plans are a way to make good Gulf fisheries great. With the input of management agencies and industry members, G.U.L.F. designs action plans that map the way toward positive change. By comparing the way our fisheries are managed against the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries Management, we are able to pinpoint where, exactly, we could change our practices to make them more sustainable.

Where do MAPs 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 MAP 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 MAP is holistic and provides a complete picture of a fishery. For more information about MAP criteria or the MAP process, contact us.

MAPs Progress Flowchart

Ongoing Projects:

 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.