While the Responsible Fishing Scheme aims to certify vessels and skippers operating to high standards, we are keen to use the RFS to raise standards too, especially in developing regions. We are creating a mechanism for a Vessel Improver Programme (VIP) and hope it can be as impactful as Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs).
The RFS Vessel Improver Programme (VIP) is seeking external support to demonstrate how the scheme can help raise standards in fisheries in the world’s developing regions.
The industry-funded RFS VIP has been established for developing fisheries to benchmark skippers and vessels against the RFS standard. Clear and measurable time-bound milestones are established, based on the results of a verified self-assessment, producing a trajectory towards full compliance with the RFS.
A draft self-assessment toolkit has been developed and continues to be trialled in the Ben Tre mixed trawl fishery in Vietnam. The social-economic benefits of the RFS have created significant interest in the region, in particular the ‘care of the catch’ elements as poor handling practices result in a loss of marketable product.