Responsible Fisheries Management Certification Program and Global Seafood Alliance Announce Collaboration to Promote Responsible Seafood Practices
The Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification program and the Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) have agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for collaboration. Given their aligned missions, both organizations are focused on global expansion for promoting choice in responsible seafood practices while aiming to reduce costs for certifications, audits, and other assurances.
The collaboration will support RFM’s goal of extending the program’s reach to other wild-capture fisheries and customer base to new markets.
“It’s long been the goal of RFM to expand beyond Alaska, which we began with the development of a unified Chain of Custody standard with Iceland Responsible Fisheries in early 2022, followed by the certification of the Pacific Whiting fishery in July of 2022. We believe GSA can assist RFM in realizing marketing opportunities and introducing fisheries to the RFM program,” said Mark Fina, Chairman of the Certified Seafood Collaborative, owner of the RFM Certification program.
GSA’s relationships with retailers and foodservice companies worldwide will help RFM reach new markets and expand its network of chain-of-custody-certified companies. Currently, GSA has global endorsers in North America, Latin America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), Northeast Asia, South and Southeast Asia, and Oceania. More than 3,000 facilities throughout the world are certified to Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) and Best Seafood Practices (BSP) standards. GSA staff serve in every global region.
This collaboration demonstrates GSA’s intention to support responsible certification in wild-capture fisheries from credible programs benchmarked by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).
“This partnership will strengthen GSA’s mission of advancing responsible seafood practices while offering seafood producers more choice and the opportunity to reduce costs in the certifications they choose to pursue,” said Brian Perkins, CEO of the GSA.
The Best Seafood Practices standards address “above the water” activities in the seafood supply chain, covering processing plants and fishing vessels. To reduce costs and simplify the process of certification, GSA does not intend to develop an additional wild fishery standard and instead incorporates wild-capture fishery management certification standards from GSSI-benchmarked schemes to enable full-chain Best Seafood Practices certification. BSP is designed as an overarching program endorsing existing GSSI-benchmarked fishery management standards, existing SSCI-benchmarked vessel standards, and GSA’s own Seafood Processing Standard that addresses food safety, social accountability, animal welfare, and environmental responsibility in seafood processing facilities.
As part of the MOU, RFM and GSA remain separate in ownership, communications, and funding. Both organizations are committed to independence and will not require clients to use each other’s certification standards. Both will continue to ensure that their programs meet existing market demands and minimize audit requirements and expenses.
Both GSA and RFM believe it is time to work together in ways to increase global demand for healthy, responsibly sourced seafood through collaboration. Seafood, both wild and farmed, is the most healthful and environmentally friendly animal protein source available. Wild capture and aquaculture have an opportunity to promote its seafood through parallel efforts.
For questions about the collaboration between GSA and RFM, please contact:
Global Seafood Alliance
Responsible Fisheries Management Certification program
The Global Seafood Alliance is an international, nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing responsible seafood practices through education, advocacy and third-party assurances. Through the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices and Best Seafood Practices certification programs, GSA has become the leading provider of assurances for wild and farmed seafood globally. The organization’s work addresses the full spectrum of responsibility, from environmental responsibility and social accountability to food safety. Established in 1997 as the Global Aquaculture Alliance, GSA is headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., USA. To learn more, visit www.globalseafood.org.
About the RFM Certification Program
The Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification program is owned by the Certified Seafood Collaborative (CSC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation made up of a diverse board of seafood and sustainability experts. The RFM Certification program is founded on the strongest and most widely acknowledged international standards and practices. It is the most credible wild-capture sustainable seafood certification program that doesn’t charge logo licensing fees. RFM was the first sustainability eco-certification program to be benchmarked and recognized by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI). To learn more, visit https://rfmcertification.org/.