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 Improvement Project (VIP) and hope it can be as impactful as Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs).
Rather than aim for vessel certification the VIP would benchmark the skippers and vessels in the programme against the RFS standard, and then develop milestones based on the results, producing a trajectory towards full compliance with RFS.
We are establishing an RFS VIP Sub-Committee of relevant experts to help us develop this concept further. We are seeking funding to support the development of the model and are establishing interest with potential project teams who would like to help us pilot the framework. Please contact Libby Woodhatch or Helen Duggan for further details.