On June 2, 2020 the Alaska salmon fishery successfully achieved recertification to the Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification program. This is the first fishery to be assessed using Version 2.0 of the Alaska RFM Fisheries Standard. The Alaska salmon fishery originally received RFM Certification in March 2011.
“We are so proud that Alaska salmon continues to carry the RFM Certification. The RFM program was created through the work of many Alaskans who feel strongly about the sustainability of our seafood and wanted the ability to independently prove it to customers around the world. Customers as large as Walmart, Costco, Kroger and Publix recognize the RFM label as proof of seafood sustainability. We’re also excited for the potential expansion of the RFM program to certify other high-performing fisheries in other parts of the world, empowering local sustainability stories to be told to global audiences.” Julie Decker, Executive Director, Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF is the client for the Alaska salmon fishery).
The recertification includes all five species of salmon commercially harvested throughout the state of Alaska: king, sockeye, keta, coho and pink, as well as the following fishing gear/methods – purse seine, drift gillnet, set gillnet, fish wheel, beach seine, dip net, and troll.
“The RFM Certification program is robust, independent verification of Alaska’s management practices. Salmon from Alaska have been sustainably managed for over 60 years and achieving RFM Certification for a 3rd time is validation of that fact,” states Decker.
SAI Global conducted the in-depth independent assessment using Version 2.0 of the Standard. Version 2.0 includes many substantial improvements, adding depth and rigor to the RFM Certification program. A few examples of changes include scoring and guidance improvements, inclusion of specific metrics and indicators, and improved specificity to certain clauses.
Recertification means the Alaska salmon fishery met all the criteria of the 125+ clauses in the RFM Fisheries Standard. The Standard covers four key components for evaluating fisheries: A) The fisheries management system; B) Science and stock assessment activities, and the precautionary approach; C) Management measures, implementation, monitoring and control; and D) serious impacts of the fishery on the ecosystem. These four components contain 13 fundamental clauses, with another 125 supporting clauses.
On July 1, 2020 the RFM Certification program is transitioning ownership to a nonprofit outside of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) called the Certified Seafood Collaborative (CSC). This independent foundation will increase flexibility for growth outside of certifying fisheries in Alaska, as well as increase cost efficiencies and market strength. More information on the CSC can be viewed here.