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Haddock, Saithe and Golden Redfish in Iceland enter certification process

Encouraged by the successful outcome and market recognition of certified Icelandic cod, three more Icelandic fisheries have now made application to the Iceland Responsible Fisheries certification programme.

This application is an important step for the seafood industry in Iceland, to seek further verification of sustainable use of the marine resources in Icelandic waters and thus strengthen the competitiveness of seafood products from Iceland.

The collective interests in Icelandic Haddock, Saithe and Golden Redfish have submitted applications to have their fisheries assessed under the Programme. Applications were received by the independent certification body, Global Trust, from stakeholders in the fishing industry in Iceland; The Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners (LÍÚ), The Federation of Icelandic Fish Processing Plants (SF) and The National Association of Small Boat Owners, Iceland (NASBO). These stakeholders are united under the Iceland Responsible Fisheries Foundation.

Global Trust has initiated a review in order to validate each application for full assessment purposes.

All fisheries occur within the Icelandic 200 mile EEZ and are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Fisheries for Iceland. Each application is supported by the interests of all Icelandic fishers and processors. If successful, applicants will receive one certificate for each fishery which will be available to all Icelandic fishing companies, gears and regions.

‘Iceland recognises the importance of responsible fisheries management. Seafood is our heritage, our livelihood and our future. Utilising Iceland\'s rich marine resources in an efficient and responsible manner that ensures our future is at the very heart of our management policy. Now, through the Iceland Responsible Fisheries Programme, we have the mechanism to demonstrate this in a manner recognised by our valuable supply chain partners and global stakeholders in seafood‘, states Gunnar Tómasson, chair of the Iceland Responsible Fisheries Foundation and Manager of production and marketing at Thorbjorninn in Grindavik.

The IRF certification programme complies with the strictest international standards. It is based on the articles and minimum substantive criteria described in the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and FAO Guidelines for the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products. Certification by the Programme confirms responsible fisheries management and good treatment of marine resources.

All three fisheries that now enter the certification process will be subjected to the same rigor of ISO 65 based assessment procedures as were carried out during the cod certification. Global Trust will appoint an expert, competent assessment team to undertake the assessment and progress up-dates will be made available on www.responsiblefisheries.is.

The requirements for the certification of a fishery include:

Adoption and implementation of a structured fisheries management system. The objective is to limit the total annual catch (TAC) from the fish stocks so that catches confirm to levels permitted by the relevant authorities.

Fish stock shall not be overfished and this shall be verified through scientific research and assessment by international experts.

Implementation of an effective legal and administrative framework for the fishery, with compliance ensured through effective mechanisms for monitoring, surveillance, control and enforcement.

Effects of the fishery on the ecosystem are limited by the application of a specified approach.

Further information and up-dates will be made available on www.responsiblefisheries.is as the assessment progresses.

Haddock, Saithe and Golden Redfish in Iceland enter certification process