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Recent Developments in Seafood Certification

There are a number of ongoing initiatives related to voluntary seafood certification that have the potential to impact international seafood trade, market access and prices through improved transparency and reduced duplication, which is costly to the industry and consumers. The Global Seafood Sustainability Initiative (GSSI), a multi-stakeholder consortium of industry, civil society, and intergovernmental agencies, is developing a global benchmarking tool to provide information about certification schemes for voluntary benchmarking against the GSSI criteria.

January 14, 2015


There are a number of ongoing initiatives related to voluntary seafood certification that have the potential to impact international seafood trade, market access and prices through improved transparency and reduced duplication, which is costly to the industry and consumers. The Global Seafood Sustainability Initiative (GSSI), a multi-stakeholder consortium of industry, civil society, and intergovernmental agencies, is developing a global benchmarking tool to provide information about certification schemes for voluntary benchmarking against the GSSI criteria. These criteria are based on FAO instruments, namely the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF), FAO Guidelines for Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine (Inland) Capture Fisheries, and the FAO Technical Guidelines for Aquaculture Certification. Additional references for the GSSI criteria include relevant ISO and ISEAL standards, especially for processes. The structure of the tool was agreed unanimously at the last GSSI steering board meeting on 10-11 December 2014 and will be communicated to the expert working groups in order to finalize the tool. Pilot testing is expected to begin early next year.

A research project is also underway to produce a comprehensive Marine Review of seafood voluntary certification, which is the work of a multi-stakeholder non-profit organization, State of Sustainability Initiatives (SSI). This Marine Review includes FAO and GLOBEFISH data, as well as inputs from the seafood certification schemes. It is expected to be launched in mid-2015.

 

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