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Image: G.U.L.F. / FIS

G.U.L.F. RFM Certification Transitions Over to CSC RFM Certification Starting with U.S. Gulf of Mexico Shrimp

  (UNITED STATES, 5/3/2023)

With great excitement, the Certified Seafood Collaborative (CSC) announces that the Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification program is transitioning over to the CSC’s RFM Certification program beginning with an RFM assessment for white, brown, and pink shrimp in all five Gulf states and federal waters.

Source:: NOAA / WIKI / FIS

“We are pleased to have the largest shrimp fishery in the United States enter into an RFM assessment. It’s well known that Gulf of Mexico shrimpers have long demonstrated responsible harvesting practices within their fishery. Certification body, Global Trust, is conducting the RFM assessment, verifying if they meet the RFM standard,” states Mark Fina, Chairman of CSC Board.

Fina continues: “Every step of the way, there has been alignment between our two certification programs, and it’s an honor to welcome them into CSC’s growing RFM Certification program. We anticipate continued growth in value and market reach for RFM Certified seafood products.”

“Back in 2012, when we began the G.U.L.F. RFM program, we were answering the call of many Gulf seafood stakeholders who wanted to provide a choice in seafood certification that could demonstrate the responsible practices of Gulf fisheries,” states John Fallon, director of Coastal Conservation and Sustainability Initiatives for the Audubon Nature Institute. “Through the official request of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and just like Alaska and Iceland did, we created an independent RFM Certification program based on internationally-accepted principles set by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).”

Source: NOAA / FIS

Since that time, G.U.L.F saw the CSC’s RFM Certification program become the first to successfully achieve the GSSI benchmark in 2016, and grow in scope, expanding beyond Alaska fisheries to include fisheries operating within the U.S. and Canada 200nm EEZ. The G.U.L.F. program achieved GSSI recognition in 2018, thus signaling further alignment of the programs.

“When we saw the Pacific Whiting fishery, covering Washington, Oregon, and California, achieve RFM certification in July 2022, we knew this was a great opportunity to transition over to the CSC beginning with the Gulf shrimp fishery,” says Fallon. “With its growing geographic scope and global reach, we believe CSC RFM Certification will help us provide validation to businesses and consumers as they make their seafood buying choices.”

Fallon also mentions the value they find in the RFM eco-label: “In addition to the CSC’s RFM program being comprehensive, science-based, and collaborative, our industry greatly appreciates that they prioritize origin on their eco-label and ensure there are zero logo license fees for using it.”

Audubon will work with CSC to transition the scheme into the Gulf of Mexico region, helping make connections with industry. The CSC wants to engage more industry in the region and will be looking to bring more Gulf industry members into its leadership structure.

Source: RFM Certification Program

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