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The Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification program and the Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) have decided on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support RFM’s goal of extending the program’s reach to other wild-capture fisheries and customer base to new markets.
This collaboration demonstrates GSA’s intention to support responsible certification in wild-capture fisheries, based on credible programs benchmarked by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).
Seafood, both wild and farmed, is the most healthful and environmentally sustainable source of animal protein available. Wild catch and aquaculture have the chance of promoting their seafood products by working together. The main objective of the MOU is clear: increasing the global demand of healthy and responsibly sourced seafood through collaboration.
“This partnership will strengthen GSA’s mission of advancing responsible seafood practices. Moreover, offering seafood producers more choices and the opportunity to reduce costs in the certifications they choose to pursue.” Said Brian Perkins, CEO of the GSA.
GSA has global endorsers. Located in North America, Latin America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), Northeast Asia, South and Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Over 3,000 installations worldwide are certified by Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) and Best Seafood Practices (BSP) standards. So, what does it mean? That GSA’s relationships with retailers and food service companies around the world could help RFM for reaching new markets and extend its network of chain-of-custody-certified companies.
Moreover, this is not the first time RFM has wanted to adopt certain standards for crossing the Alaskan border. In fact, in 2022, it developed a chain of custody together with Iceland Responsible Fisheries and Pacific Whiting Fishery.
How will the MOU work?
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, RFM and GSA remain independent in terms of ownership, communications and funding. The organizations are committed to maintain independence, so customers will not required to use the certification standards of the other. Both companies will continue to ensure that their programs satisfy current market demands by minimizing auditing requirements and costs.
The Best Seafood Practices (BSP) standards address “above the water” activities in the seafood supply chain, covering processing plants and fishing vessels. 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. The idea is to incorporate the wild-capture fishery management certification standards from GSSI-benchmarked schemes to enable full-chain Best Seafood Practices certification.
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