The Fisheries Transparency Initiative is a global multi-stakeholder partnership.
It is is legally institutionalised as a non-profit, non-governmental association in Seychelles under Seychellois law.
From June 2015 until January 2020, the German-based non-profit organization HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform was acting as the fiscal host for the initiative. Recognizing the need to give the FiTI is own legal personality in order to ensure its long-term sustainability, the FiTI International Board approved the legal institutionalisation of the FiTI in form of a members’ association.
The Government of the Seychelles, being one of the first countries to commit to the FiTI, announced their official commitment to host such an association at the 2018 Our Ocean Conference in Bali/Indonesia. The official opening ceremony took place on 28 May 2019 in Victoria/Seychelles, and was attended by the President of Seychelles, Danny Faure, Vice-President Vincent Meriton, members of the government and the diplomatic corps, as well as over 70 national and international stakeholders within the fisheries sector.
As of 24 January 2020, the FiTI has been duly registered as a global members’ association under Seychellois law (registration number A431648). Furthermore, the transition of its operations from Berlin/Germany to Victoria/Seychelles has also been completed.
The association bears the name “Fisheries Transparency Initiative” (short “FiTI”), and is governed by its constitution. As a global members’ association, the FiTI comprises of national and international members, and does not focus on a single country or on a region.
The objective of the association is to increase transparency and multi-stakeholder participation in fisheries governance for the benefit of a more sustainable management of marine fisheries, and this is pursued by:
- providing an internationally recognised standard (i.e. FiTI Standard) that defines what information on marine fisheries should be published online by public authorities;
- engaging with countries to implement this standard in order to achieve and maintain high levels of transparency on the management of the marine fisheries sector and the activities of fishers and fishing companies;
- promoting and institutionalising multi-stakeholder collaboration;
- stimulating public debates on how the fisheries sector is managed, enabling relevant stakeholders to support reforms towards better governance of their marine fisheries; and
- fostering the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well as other international treaties and covenants related to fisheries around the world.
Bodies of the FiTI association
The three permanent institutional bodies of the FiTI are:
- the FiTI Members’ Meeting
- the FiTI International Board, led by the FiTI Chair – the International Board is accountable to the FiTI Member’s Meeting
- the FiTI International Secretariat, led by the Executive Director – the International Secretariat is accountable to the International Board
FiTI’s Members’ Meeting
The FiTI Members’ Meeting is the global supreme body of the FiTI, and is comprised of the members of the FiTI. The FiTI Member’s Meeting has the responsibilities of:
- electing the Members and their Alternates of the FiTI International Board;
- electing the FiTI Chair, on proposal of the FiTI International Board; and
- considering any other matters pursuant to requests from a member.
Full membership in the FiTI is open to the following two groups interested in enhancing transparency and multi-stakeholder participation in fisheries, good ocean governance or wider areas of open government and access to information:
- any individual over 18 years; and
- businesses, business associations, and civil society organisations (including media and academia).
The admission, retention, resignation and removal of members, their responsibilities as well as any other aspect of membership (such as different types of membership) is governed by a global membership policy (in progress).
Full individual members and full organisational members carry the same voting power. The FiTI Chair acts as the chairman for a FiTI Members’ Meeting.