Improving wild salmon fisheries globally

Why Fishery Improvement?

Today, nearly half of the world's marine fisheries are already at their maximum catch levels according to the FAO. To sustain these catch levels, protect healthy populations, and bring back overfished stocks in the face of growing consumer demand, fisheries will have to be proactive about making improvements. We need to do more than just reward sustainable fisheries, but also create pathways for fisheries that are committed to improve their practices and solve problems on the water.

FIP Progress to Date

After a multi-year effort led by partnership members, 27% of Asian salmon fisheries have been MSC certified, are under full assessment, or in a FIP including the first certified fisheries in Kamchatka and Sakhalin. Most importantly, we have helped these fisheries make significant sustainability improvements to bring them into line with the MSC certification standards including:

Reducing hatchery impacts:
  • Closing, abandoning, or reducing plans to build hatcheries (Annette Islands, Hokkaido, Iturup)
  • Initiating new research on hatchery impacts (Hokkaido, Sakhalin, Iturup, Alaska and Kamchatka)
Limiting IUU fisheries in Russia and excluding them from sustainable supply chains:
  • Better compliance and enforcement in Russian salmon fisheries as a result of satellite monitoring (set net violations reduced by 64% in a single year)
  • Establishment of first independent observer program, now operating in four regions in Kamchatka and Sakhalin that provide critical information for assessment teams
  • Four successful Chain of Custody certifications and other traceability improvements in Russian fish processing sector
Improvements in bycatch monitoring:
  • First ever bycatch monitoring program established in Ozernaya; bycatch monitoring had not been conducted and reported in Russia for many years
  • New genetic and life history research on key bycatch species in Russia (taimen) led by Russian scientists
Escapement management:
  • The 2013 Aniva Bay fishery (Sakhalin) was shut down because escapement goals were not met, which had never been done before, influenced by the fact that the fishery has been under public scrutiny during the MSC assessment process
  • First ever (three year) study of wild stock abundance in Hokkaido, Japan as well as independent evaluation and critical review conducted of escapement goals for Hokkaido and Sakhalin