Triple Impact Improvement

The plateau in certification represents a singular challenge for the sustainable seafood movement

Our triple bottom line (TBL) approach to improving fisheries increases the viability and decreases the risk of the traditional fisheries improvement process, representing an opportunity for all working in seafood.

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) are the sustainable seafood movement’s primary tool for incentivizing fisheries improvement, and despite the commercial success of the FIP model, the limited evidence available suggests that FIPs can unevenly distribute the costs and benefits of improvement; fishers often pay the majority of the indirect and direct costs of improvement but receive few, if any, benefits to cover those additional costs. This unforeseen social impact contradicts definitions of seafood sustainability which have evolved over the past 20 years to include fisher livelihoods.

By design, FIPs were created to drive improvement of fisheries’ environmental performance without explicit regard for their social or financial performance. We’re leading the integration of assessment and improvement of fisheries’ social and financial performance along with their environmental performance. We have reimagined the FIP model to build a triple bottom line (TBL) fishery approach to increase the viability and decrease the risk of fisheries improvement by evaluating, tracking and incentivizing improvement of fisheries’ social and financial performance along with their environmental performance.

Triple impact improvement process graphic Investments in business development rescue value through improved business practices, from the operational to the administrative. In turn, this value is reinvested in improving or maintaining high levels of environmental and social performance. © Ocean Outcomes

Our TBL approach screens fisheries for improvement viability and then provides a structure for designing and implementing integrated improvement plans to account for social, economic and environmental outcomes. This will yield the following outputs for each fishery evaluated:

  • Assessment of TBL fishery performance (financial, environmental and social) to establish baselines from which to design and track improvement;
  • Prioritization and estimation of the costs of improving deficiencies identified in the environmental, social and financial dimensions;
  • Quantification of the potential upside of improvement, or value rescue potential, by producing an integrated, TBL balance sheet for the fishery;
  • Development of an integrated TBL improvement plan that is prioritized, and includes specific recommendations for levels, type and sequencing of interventions to reduce risk and maximize viability for fishers and other supply chain participants.

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