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Online Resource Provides Fish Certification Standard Comparison

03 June 2013

UK - Seafish has launched a new web resource called 'A Guide to Seafood Standards' to provide information and an online tool to compare and contrast the different certification standards which apply to fish and shellfish supplied in the UK.

Paul Williams, chief executive of Seafish said: "As the seafood industry has increased its emphasis on responsible sourcing, many more suppliers are using certification schemes to underline quality and ethical practice. This focus on improvement is great news both for consumers and for our industry, but the proliferation of different schemes can also sometimes be confusing.

"That's why we set out to create a new web resource to put all the information on the different standards in one place, so that users could better compare their features and benefits."

The Guide to Seafood Standards provides detailed information on all the certification schemes currently relevant to seafood, many of which also appear on product labelling and menus. It incorporates an interactive tool which describes how each standard is applied and the criteria used to measure factors such as food safety, environment, animal and social welfare.

The launch of The Guide follows the MCS's reclassification of mackerel, just five months after it was removed from the safe to eat list, which highlights how confusing sustainability ratings can be for consumers and industry.

Paul Williams said: "Standards are a vitally important way of certifying performance against set criteria, although as yet there is no statutory requirement for equivalence and the schemes vary in the factors they cover. We hope that by providing more information this new Guide will increase understanding of this important facet of our industry and so help to 'demystify' the schemes for users."

Chris Leftwich of Fishmongers Company said: "We believe that this is a great initiative from Seafish since it will help improve understanding of how certification standards can contribute to on-going improvement in the industry. It is also useful to be able to find information on all the different schemes in one place."

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