Fisheries | WWF
© WWF/SFI

Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP)

Vietnamese 🇻🇳
Rooted in earlier projects by WWF-Viet Nam focused on bycatch best practices, the Viet Nam yellowfin tuna Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) was launched in 2014, following the completion of a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) pre-assessment and ensuing FIP Action Plan (updated in 2020).

The Action Plan scores the yellowfin against MSC criteria, identifying gaps and recommended actions required to meet the MSC standard.  WWF-Viet Nam is the National FIP Manager and the Viet Nam Tuna Association (VinaTuna) is also a member of the FIP Coordination Unit.  WWF-US and other WWF offices also actively support the FIP, including engaging with the supply chain. 

The FIP previously included longline gear (pre-2020) but vessels historically using longline have converted to handline only.

Objectives

The overarching goal is to achieve MSC certification by 2022.  Several intermediate objectives of the FIP have been identified, in contribution to the continual improvement in management of the fishery. These include:
  • Supporting the development and implementation in management of harvest control rules and limit reference points, in partnership with WPEA project and wider WCPFC
  • Continued expansion of training, piloting and at-sea deployment of onboard observers in the handline fishery, including piloting of electronic logbooks, in direct partnership with industry (FIP Participants)
  • Supporting the establishment of a National Observer Program and securing the sustainable financing of its implementation towards WCPFC targets
  • Development and application in management of a Bycatch Mitigation Strategy, including full reporting of sea turtle and shark encounters 
  • Continued socialization and expansion in the use of Circle Hooks in the handline fishery, mainstreaming their adoption across the sector
  • Implementation of FIP traceability program, fully applied in all relevant processors and verified through independent 3rd party audits
  • Ongoing communication and awareness programs with fishers, processors and other stakeholders related to the FIP

Achievements

The following achievements have been recorded as of January 2020:
  • Support the process of Viet Nam joining WCPFC
  • Expanding the use of circle hooks in the fishery which is a successful bycatch mitigation strategy that does not sacrifice target catch levels
  • Communication on protection of sea turtles and sharks
  • Actively engaging with MARD in the development of a National Tuna Management Plan and other reformative policies and legal instruments (e.g. adoption of harvest control measures, piloting of quota systems, application of risk management and protection of at-risk species)
  • Developing and piloting the use of e-logbooks in the handline tuna fleet
  • Continuing to train and deploy at-sea fishery observers to inform the development of additional bycatch mitigation strategies and support the establishment of a National Observer Program
  • Designing, developing, and piloting a first-of-its-kind FIP traceability program with domestic tuna processors to identify “FIP-eligible” yellowfin tuna products in the market
WWF
Expanding the use of circle hooks
© Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF

In the News

Get sea turtles off the hook (Infographic)
Click to download
© Jürgen Freund / WW

FIP Collaborators & Participants

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) together with the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) of three provinces of Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa are the key State agencies collaborating with the FIP Coordination Unit. The FIP works with relevant MARD departments, particularly the Directorate of Fisheries (DFISH), the Department of Conservation and Aquatic Resource Development (DECAP) and the Research Institute of Marine Fisheries (RIMF). The yellowfin tuna FIP is directly supported by several international seafood companies (FIP Participants) engaged in various aspects of implementation – including field, market, policy and financing. We also work with tuna processing industries in Viet Nam in establishing FIP traceability.

Several international seafood companies support the FIP financially and through additional commitments related to supply chain engagement, traceability, catch documentation and communications.  Because of their commitments, including traceability and sourcing arrangements, these suppliers (and only these suppliers) are recognized as providing FIP fish in the marketplace. 

Current fee-paying FIP Participants include:

       

In addition, the following sustainable seafood supply chain partners are engaged in supporting the FIP:

How can I become a FIP Participant? 

We encourage action across the supply chain to support FIP progress. A FIP Participant is an industry member that is part of the seafood supply chain for the FIP product and is actively engaged in supporting the FIP. Please contact Ms. Nguyen Dieu Thuy, Project manager at thuy.nguyendieu@wwf.org.vn if you would like to learn more about becoming a FIP Participant.

© WWF-Viet Nam

Traceability

A key aspect of the FIP is to ensure that Viet Nam yellowfin tuna is differentiated in the marketplace. This requirement is particularly important in Viet Nam where over half of the total yellowfin tuna exports use foreign raw material, which is re-exported, and therefore not eligible as a FIP product in the marketplace.

For FIP industry partners to have recognized FIP products, they are required to demonstrate that their yellowfin tuna products are coming from the FIP (i.e. are sourced from legally permitted Vietnamese handline vessels). The FIP traceability system was developed in 2017 - designed in close collaboration with industry partners and third-party auditor experts.

Importantly, the FIP traceability system will also provide Vietnamese tuna processors with a tool that can be applied to help their businesses meet international requirements.  

A full audit of 13 processors was undertaken in 2019, which evidenced steady improvements in FIP code adoption as well as highlighting issues and gaps. VinaTuna/WWF continue to work with all processors to implement necessary corrective actions and work plans related to FIP trace code implementation.

Project documents
Click here
© Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF

Contact us

Please contact Ms. Nguyen Dieu Thuy, Project manager at thuy.nguyendieu@wwf.org.vn if you would like to learn more about becoming a FIP Participant.

You can also find us on social media
© Martin Harvey / WWF