FRANCE - The French fishing industry, through France Agrimer, have launched a public Eco label standard following a period of public consultation which ended in February.
The standard was officially approved by decree and published in the French official journal on the 16/12/2014.
According to Finnian O’Luasa from the Paris Office of Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board the standard is based on environmental, economic and social criteria which examine the state of the target fishing stock, accidental bycatch, habitat impact of the fishing activity, energy efficiency of the vessel, product quality, as well as crew working conditions, safety and training.
An update and improvement of the standard is to be carried out at least every three years.
The label can be adapted by countries that can adhere to certain pre requirements, such as stock management and assessment.
The unity of certification is defined as a particular species per fishing vessel per fishing zone.
The association of environmental, ethical and quality criteria in the new Eco label has the objective of addressing consumer concerns for sustainability.
The Eco label is being used by AFNOR (French agency for standardisation) as a model for harmonising a future international ISO standard on sustainable fisheries to be published by the end of 2016 under ISO 19565.
The French Eco label standard was drafted in respect of the different FAO guidelines such as the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products.
The FAO Code is a point of reference for individual countries and states, another example of its adoption being the Irish Responsibly Sourced Seafood Standard which was developed by BIM to help buyer’s source fish which is caught in a responsible manner. 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries by the FAO.TheFishSite News Desk