Louisiana Seafood Certification Program Tightens Rules

Based on feedback from the seafood industry, The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has adopted program rule changes to their Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program (LWSCP). The Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program (LWSCP) is a voluntary program for Louisiana wild seafood that was passed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2010 and was developed with the intention of establishing a more professional seafood industry with better handling practices and higher quality products. The rule changes were adopted on April 20th of the 2014 LWSCP permit year and include additional program requirements that increase consumer confidence by ensuring that only wild-caught Louisiana seafood utilizes the LWSCP logo. The changes are as follows:

General Marketing use of LWSCP Logo

LDWF now requires additional verbiage be used when using the LWSCP Logo for general marketing purposes.  Examples of general marketing are: promotional materials, print and television advertising, banners, and digital mediums that promote LWSCP products or participation. The approved statements to be used with LWSCP Logo for general marketing are “ask us about our certified products,” or “ask us about our certified menu items.” Additional statements may be granted approval by LDWF on a case by case basis upon written request.  Contact Fisheries Oversight for more information on how to submit a request to use an LWSCP general marketing statement (OversightPrograms@wlf.la.gov).

Product Registration and Supply Chain Verification             

Product registration allows LDWF to better enforce and certify the use of the LWSCP logo as it is used in the marketplace. All seafood or seafood products packaged for retail sale are now required to be registered with LDWF before utilizing the LWSCP logo. Products produced, packaged, and sold exclusively at the location for retail sale are exempt from these registration requirements. The brand owner is responsible for obtaining a product registration, which is valid for 1 year and expires 12 months from the issue date. Product registration requires the following information: brand name, brand owner, processor/packer, species contained in the product, photo or image of package containing brand and name, and three months of invoices showing LWSCP certified seafood purchased specific to the product. Invoices may be submitted by the packager if the brand owner does not directly purchase seafood used in the product.

Application Requirements for Retailers and Restaurants

LDWF now requires supply chain verification for all retail/restaurants selling and/or serving un-packed seafood, prepared or un-prepared. For the initial applications, each retail/restaurant wanting to participate in LWSCP must provide three months of invoices showing LWSCP certified product purchases. Applications up for annual renewal will require invoices for six months out of the last 12 months showing purchases of LWSCP certified seafood.

How do you register a product or submit an application?

Brand owners wishing to register a product or retailers and restaurants needing to apply or renew their LWSCP permit must visit https://lwscpadmin.wlf.louisiana.gov to create user accounts. If you are a current LWSCP participant, you should have received a letter containing your unlocking key and instructions on how to link your existing application to your user account. If you have not received this, please contact Fisheries Oversight (OversightPrograms@wlf.la.gov).

Invoice Rules and Exceptions

Pricing information is not required and may be redacted if desired. Images of invoices will be kept for verification purposes only and will be considered confidential. Data from the invoices will not be entered into any database or other electronic format. Companies participating in a LDWF approved electronic traceability program and who allow LDWF access for verification purposes shall be exempt from all invoice submission requirements. 

The full program changes document can be found in the April edition of the Louisiana Register (R.S. 56:578. 15) starting on page 804:  http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/OSR/reg/regs2014.htm

For questions concerning this program or the rule change process please contact the LDWF Fisheries Oversight division at OversightPrograms@wlf.la.gov or toll-free at 855-262-1764. You can also submit questions by mail to P.O.Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Source: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries