FAO-ISO based certification will soon be used to verify responsible fisheries management and good treatment of marine resources, Iceland Responsible Fisheries states.
Encouraged by the successful outcome and market recognition of certified Icelandic cod, three more
Icelandic fisheries have now made applications 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.
‘Iceland recognizes 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
recognized by our valuable supply chain partners and global stakeholders in seafood‘, states Gunnar
Tomasson, 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 rigour 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
• 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 at www.ResponsibleFisheries.is as the
(From a press release)