The overall objective of the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) is to support public authorities of coastal states to improve their own systems for collating and publishing information on the fisheries sector online in a complete and accessible manner. At the heart of the initiative is the FiTI Standard. It describes what information on marine fisheries should be published online by public authorities, organized into 12 transparency requirements.
In order to implement the FiTI, a country’s National Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) must produce annual FiTI Reports that provide an assessment on the availability, accessibility and completeness of this requested information. However, if national authorities are unable to publish information because they genuinely do not have it, the FiTI asks that the National MSG considers how these information gaps can be addressed and over what time frame. This is referred to in the FiTI Standard as achieving “progressive improvements”.
The FiTI Report is not just a means to verify if the country is compliant with the FiTI Standard—it is not simply a technical report to achieve compliant status for the county. Rather, it is the intention of the FiTI that these annual reports will also achieve three main benefits for implementing countries:
- Providing a succinct summary of the information related to the transparency requirements to assist with public understanding and policy debates
- Communicating recommendations made by the National MSG for progressive improvements in public access to information, and tracking achievements
- Establishing the extent to which public information on the fisheries sector is regarded as credible
A country’s National MSG must appoint a Report Compiler, tasked with compiling the information on the transparency requirements set forth in section B.1 of the FiTI Standard. The role of the Report Compiler is critical to the success of the FiTI at the national and international level. Their role is to work collaboratively with the National MSG and support them in fulfilling their duty of producing an annual FiTI Report in accordance with the FiTI Standard.
A Guidance Note will be published in May 2019 to support Report Compilers in producing annual reports on behalf of the FiTI National MSG.