First UK-based Vessel Certified to Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard

Pictured is Taits FR 229.

GSA is pleased to announce that several vessels in the UK have successfully certified to the Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard (RFVS). These initial United Kingdom-based vessels include 80-meter vessels in Scotland belonging to the Lunar Fishing Company and the Klondyke Fishing Company and single-handed vessels based in Norfolk. This helps to illustrate the inherent flexibility of RFVS, which enables fishing operations to provide assurance of decent working conditions and operational best practices from catch to shore. There are currently 10 additional pilots under way around the globe, and the standard is open for applications.

This progress in the UK has been possible thanks to the commitment of retailers and brands such as Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, The Big Prawn Company and Waitrose.

Pictured is single hander Lisa Diane YH9, one of four, Norfolk.

Steven McLean, Head of Agriculture and Fisheries at M&S Food Group, said, “This is a terrific achievement, and an important moment in the world of seafood sustainability. M&S would like to congratulate our suppliers the Lunar and Tait family (Klondyke) businesses in becoming amongst the very first fishing companies in the world — and the first of the Scottish fleets — to achieve certification against the new Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard.”

Joe Prosho, Agriculture, Fisheries and Sustainable Sourcing Manager at Morrisons plc, who specifically supported the single handed vessel operators in Norfolk, said, “Small scale British fishing has an important role to play in a vibrant, sustainable future industry. RFVS certification helps provide important assurance that fishermen are taking responsibility for their own safety, legal and environmentally responsible operations, whatever the size, and we look forward to supporting wider uptake across the UK.”

Andy Boulton, Aquaculture and Fisheries Manager at Waitrose, added, “British fish continues to be the backbone of our range, and we’re thrilled to see Lunar and Tait vessels achieve RFVS certification. This acts as another significant step to give continued assurance to customers that what they put in their baskets has been sourced responsibly and from well managed vessels where crew welfare and safety is central to their success.”

Three years ago, GSA and the UK Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) announced their MOU to work together to create the next version of the Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS), committing to expand its global applicability, which resulted in the creation of the Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard.

About GSA
GSA is an independent, not-for-profit organization. The GSA vision is to provide high quality, end-to-end, fully traceable assurance for seafood, supporting the sustainable development of global production while protecting people and planet. GSA works with partners where standards already exist, and creates transparent and credible standards to fill gaps where needed. The Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard was developed by GSA, in partnership with Seafish, through a transparent and rigorous two-year process. It enables fishing operations to provide assurance of decent working conditions and operational best practice from catch to shore. GSA took ownership of the RFVS in May 2020.