The general approach to implementing FIPs is basically similar to the Environmental Management Systems (EMS) approach adopted by the ISO14001 standard. The key stages are as follows
This stage involves an assessment of the fishery against the IFFO RS Standard which identifies gaps between the current performance of the fishery and that desired to meet the standard. The stakeholder groups may also seek additional information it feels necessary such as the identification of groups to consult, social issues beyond the scope of the RS Standard or similar.
During the second stage, the stakeholders work together to prepare and complete an FIP action plan, combining the information and the results derived from the studies conducted in Stage 1, with stakeholder input and consensus.
Within a set time frame, the stakeholders implement the FIP action plan according to their roles and responsibilities assigned in Stage 2, while progress of the works can be tracked and project updates are accessible to the public.
The stakeholders assess the annual progress of the fishery together, and revise and adapt the FIP action plan if necessary.
An overlying consideration is an interaction with the team reviewing the IFFO RS Standard such that data and experience relevant to the design of a standard suited to sardine fishery is captured from the FIP and made available.