US - The GSSI (Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative) Steering Board has announced its recognition of the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification Programme for the scope of Fisheries Certification.
GSSI’s recognition shows that the Alaska RFM Programme, with Fisheries Management Standard Version 1.3, effective 1 January 2016, is in alignment with all 143 applicable Essential Components of the GSSI Global Benchmark Tool (version 1.0, 8 October 2015).
The Tool is grounded in the FAO Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries and consists of performance areas related to scheme governance, operational management (including chain of custody) and applied wild-capture fisheries audit standards.
Alaska RFM is the first certification scheme to be benchmarked against GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool and to achieve recognition demonstrating alignment. This recognition follows a rigorous benchmark process over the last seven months, which included a 30-day public consultation, before approval by the GSSI Steering Board.
“The Alaska RFM Certification Program successfully completed the process as the first GSSI recognised scheme, following the launch of GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool last year October,” stated GSSI Steering Board co-chair Bill DiMento (VP Quality Assurance, Sustainability and Government Affairs, High Liner Foods).
Co-chair Tania Taranovski (Director Sustainable Seafood Programs, New England Aquarium), added: “Today marks an important milestone in enabling informed choice for the procurement of certified seafood.”
“We commend the Alaska RFM Programme for successfully completing the GSSI benchmark process,” said Audun Lem (Deputy Director Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Economics Division, FAO).
“Through a rigorous and transparent process they have proven alignment with the components of the Global Benchmark Tool which are grounded in the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and related instruments. The recognition of robust certification programs by GSSI will improve transparency in seafood certification and increase confidence in the seafood market, objectives FAO fully supports.”
TheFishSite News Desk