UK - Seafish, the industry authority on seafood, has developed a new course to support businesses interested in the roll out of the new Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) to the UK fleet. Aimed at skippers, vessel owners, producer organisations and businesses along the supply chain, the course, which will be available around the UK, will provide guidance on the RFS audit process, equipping attendees with the knowledge to support themselves or others through this process.
The RFS Support Course aims to provide an insight into the mechanics of the scheme, and includes opportunities to complete two of the five elements of the documentation required to be seen by auditors during vessel audits. Initially designed with skippers in mind, the course is also open to anyone with an interest in the scheme who may be able to support vessels through the application process.
Attendees could include fleet managers, PO/Fishermen’s Association representatives, technical staff from processors keen to work with vessels supplying them, and anybody else who may be able to work with vessels to support them through the process.
The Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) was first launched in 2006 by Seafish to help fishing vessels demonstrate their commitment to a responsibly sourced catch. It has now been revised to include the health and safety and welfare of crew on board. This is an industry led initiative recognising that the RFS can lead the way in providing the Seafood Industry with a programme which has social responsibility as one of its core values.
Since its relaunch in January 2016, the scheme has attracted great support from major retailers, with Waitrose and M&S joining Morrissons and leading food service providers, in incorporating RFS into their sourcing policies, to demonstrate their time-bound commitment to source their seafood from vessels who have had their compliance with industry best practice independently verified.
Many other businesses throughout the UK seafood supply chain have also signed up to our Supply Chain Supporters Statement to publicly express their commitment to incorporating the RFS into their sourcing policies, and using their influence to support the Responsible Fishing Scheme’s expansion.
Initially focused on vessels supplying the UK market, the scheme will be rolled out internationally over the next few years.
Mick Bacon, RFS Fleet Manager, said: "The revised RFS provides the UK with a fantastic opportunity to lead the way in promoting best practice and raising standards in our fishing industry. These courses are an opportunity for applicants and businesses to gain a deeper understanding of the RFS certification process and help aid more vessels to gain RFS certification."
Below is a list of venues and dates for the first set of courses planned (please note others will follow in regions not yet represented):
Grimsby 18th May - Seafish Grimsby office
Peterhead 26th May - Buchan Breas Hotel
Southwest England 21st and 22nd June - Newlyn and Brixham
Northern Ireland w/c 11th July - Kilkeel, Poravogie and Annalong
If you are interested in attending one of these courses please contact Mick Bacon, Michael.Bacon@seafish.co.uk, or Kara Brydson, Kara.Brydson@seafish.co.uk.
Further information about RFS can be found at http://www.seafish.org/rfs/
TheFishSite News Desk