Accreditation – External recognition of adherence to a set of standards to perform an activity or hold a certain status; the process of authorizing a certification body to conduct an audit, and ensuring the auditor is sufficiently qualified, trained and experienced to perform the audit to meet the requirements of the standard setter.

Certification – The provision by an independent body of written assurance (a certificate) that the product, service, or system in question meets specific requirements. The outcome of certification is an official document attesting to a producer’s ability to adhere to GSA’s vigorous standards during the seafood production cycle per third-party auditors.

Endorser – An organization that endorses the GSA Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) and/or Best Seafood Practices (BSP) certification programs by sourcing from certified facilities or referencing GSA programs as part of their sourcing policy.

Feed Mill – Facility that produces aquaculture feed using a blend of ingredients specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of each seafood species.

Fish Farm – Where aquatic animals are grown to harvest size. Farming can occur in ponds, ocean cages, net pens, tanks, raceways, or closed-containment vessels.

Hatchery – Facility where aquatic animals are bred in controlled conditions, hatched, and raised until transferred to a grow-out system or facility (includes nursery stage animals and systems).

Processing Plant – Last step in the production chain where the aquatic animals may be peeled, filleted, flavored, cooked, frozen or packaged.

Program Integrity – Upholding the consistent and uniform application of GSA standards through policy, education, monitoring, verification audits, testing, and facility support.

Responsible – Adherence to comprehensive and demanding social, environmental, and food safety practices both in operations and in relationships with suppliers, customers, and the community.

Safe – The condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger or risk. GSA standards address food-safety issues of drug and chemical management, microbial sanitation, hygiene, harvest, and transport.

Standard – A level of quality deemed to be acceptable. BAP and BSP standards are achievable, science-based, and continuously improved global performance standards for the seafood supply chain that assure healthful foods produced through environmentally and socially responsible means. They are designed to assist program applicants in performing self-assessments of the environmental and social impacts, and food-safety controls of their facilities, and to lead to third-party certification of compliance, thereby eliminating the most significant negative impacts.

Sustainable – Meeting the needs of the present while adhering to responsible practices that protect the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainability involves seeking to minimize harm to the environment and the depletion of natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance. In its strictest interpretation, sustainability is a theoretical state that is improbable to achieve, because it implies fully renewable inputs with no wastes or impacts. In practice, sustainability is a journey toward ever improving efficiency and compatibility.

Vessel – Any ship or boat, of any nature whatsoever, irrespective of the form of ownership, used or intended to be used for the purpose of commercial fishing.