ALASKA RFM – A FAO-BASED MODEL
ASMI chose a Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) model based on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Code and Guidelines because it meets the highest benchmarks for credible certification.
Assessments are performed directly against the most well known internationally-agreed set of principles for responsible fisheries management; The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and The FAO Guidelines for Eco-labelling. Other regions and countries such as Louisiana, Japan and Iceland also use the FAO Code and Guidelines for their certification program, and this model is also under consideration for use in other countries.
This is a robust, common sense, practical and cost-effective approach and allows Alaska fisheries to meet the FAO criteria for credible certification. This program also utilizes certifiers who are accredited to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) by an International Accreditation Board member. The result is a model that is practical, verifiable, transparent and incorporates the criteria and procedures outlined in the FAO Code and Guidelines.
Standards related comments and questions can be sent to:
Susan Marks, Sustainability Director at RFM@alaskaseafood.org
GSSI recognizes the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Certification Program
On July 12, 2016 the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) Steering Board announced its recognition of the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification Program. GSSI’s recognition shows that the Alaska RFM Program (Fisheries Standard V 1.3, effective January 1, 2016) meets the FAO Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries. Through the benchmark process, the Alaska RFM Program has demonstrated alignment with all 143 applicable Essential Components of GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool (version 1.0, effective 8 October 2015). The Tool consists of performance areas related to scheme governance, operational management and applied wild-capture fisheries audit standards. View the Press Release for GSSI Recognition.
What is GSSI?
GSSI increases comparability and transparency in seafood certification and enables informed choice for procurement of certified seafood. GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool, which is based on international reference documents, will identify and recognize robust and credible certification schemes and support other schemes to improve. To make information available across the supply chain, Benchmark Reports for GSSI-recognized schemes will be published.
GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool was developed over a 3-year multi-stakeholder process, with environmental NGOs, global business, experts, governmental and intergovernmental organizations, alongside two public consultations and a pilot test. As a result of this inclusive and in-depth process, GSSI believes the bar being set is both appropriate and achievable.
To access the Alaska RFM Certification Program Benchmark Report and Recognition page go to http://www.ourgssi.org/