India Oil Sardine FIP

Last updated Sept 10, 2014

FIP Stage

Implementation & Review


Oil sardine (Sardinella longiceps)

© Vinod Malayilethu

 Fishery Background

  • Volume – 0.1 million mt
  • Gear – Gillnet
  • Location – An area extending 4 km north and south of the port of Kollam (Kerala State) in the Arabian Sea, and 15 km offshore, covering 56.27 km2.

FIP Stakeholders

Some of the stakeholders involved in this FIP include: WWF, the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), the state government, the Cooperative Society (FWS), and village fisheries councils.

Project Background

The India oil sardine FIP process began in 2008 with the completion of a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) pre-assessment. In March 2010, WWF held a FIP stakeholder meeting in Cochin, Kerala State, India to discuss the pre-assesment and develop a FIP Action Plan, which describes the necessary FIP activities, responsible parties and timeframes required to meet the MSC standard. Implementation of FIP activities began with the finalization of the FIP Action Plan in March 2010.

Deficiencies Raised in the Pre-Assessment

In the pre-assessment, a number of MSC performance indicators (PIs) were scored such that the fishery would likely either fail under an MSC full assessment (score less than 60) or pass with conditions (score between 60 and 80). These include defining the extent of the stock, developing a formal stock management strategy, establishing target and limit reference points, and improving the management regime.

Key Accomplishments

The work done by FIP stakeholders to date has resulted in the following accomplishments:

  • The State Fisheries Department has begun strictly enforcing the licensing system for fishing vessels and no new licenses are being issued;
  • Various management committees have been formed by the State Fisheries Department  for discussing and finalizing management measures for the sustainability of the stock; and
  • The new Minister for Fisheries, Ports and Excise has called for a discussion on amendments to be made in the Kerala Marine Fisheries Regulation Act.

Next Steps

Several FIP activities still need to be completed by FIP stakeholders in order for the fishery to be ready to enter MSC full assessment. Some of these activities include:

  • Establishment of geographic boundaries and management responsibilities for the stock;
  • Agreement of long term objectives for status of the stock;
  • Development of management and technical measures that will achieve the management objectives for the stock and deliver the harvest strategy;
  • Development and establishment of appropriate fishing effort controls;
  • Design of a decision making process that provides wide stakeholder involvement; and
  • Review a range of possible units of certification for oil sardine fisheries in Kerala.