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Responsible fishing

Ensuring responsible fishing and fishery management


The consumption of seafood throughout the world is rising with over 75% of fish species caught being fully or over-exploited (according to a report by the FAO, Food and Agricultural Organization, in 2005). The demand for fish meal and fish oil is equally increasing the pressure on marine resources while fish farming is developing and intensifying to the detriment of ecosystems and the environment. In this context, the FAO has defined two measures: the code of conduct for responsible fishing and fish farming (1995), and the FAO guidelines for Ecolabeling of fish and fishery products from Marine capture fisheries (COFI 2005). The objective is to differentiate seafood products which come from responsible food chain. To meet the demands of consumers and retailers today, suppliers now have to prove not only the quality and safety of their products, but also that they respect the environment, invest in sustainable management of fishing resources and respect the social laws and security for crew in their industry.


What is responsible fishing?

Responsible fishing aims at ensuring responsible fishing practices. Bureau Veritas proposes several responsible fishing processes adapted to the needs of its clients. These solutions are centered around six areas of responsibility: - Marine resources: improving selectivity and stock control, reducing waste of by-catch, maintaining the ecosystem - Environment: saving energy, limiting pollution, sea spillages and loss of gear. - Food safety: ensuring seafood product safety in board and in the seafood chain. - Crew: improving workplace safety and well-being, increasing awareness of social regulations. - Quality: guaranteeing product and process quality, and traceability/origin for clear responsibility at each step. - Local development and equitable share.

What are the key benefits?
- Increasing consumer confidence
- Ensuring better access to your markets through strong differentiation
- Increasing employee loyalty
- Protecting marine resources
- Improving your brand image


Seafood Expertise Bureau Veritas can help every player in the seafood supply chain to meet the highest standards of Quality, Health & Safety, Environmental and Social Responsibility compliance. Bureau Veritas is part of the preferred suppliers of: Auchan, Carrefour, Champion, Casino, Eroski, Metro, Système U, as seafood supply chain expert. Bureau Veritas is also one of the major players to provide complete marine services to ship owners. Network A global presence in more than 100 countries means clients benefit from both international expertise and in-depth knowledge of local standards. Mark of global recognition The “Bureau Veritas inspection” mark is a globally recognized symbol of your organization's ongoing commitment to excellence, sustainability and reliability.


  • Which “responsible fishing” seal should I use?

    Different tools exist and can apply to your objectives, both external (market, administration) and/or internal (investors, social issues). This topic could be reviewed during the feasibility study.

  • What scope of certification should I choose: fishery, fishing company, seafood chain?

    The scope is defined in the feasibility study according to your objectives and the assets of your production zone.

  • Which international standardization covers the “responsible fishing” seal?

    The FAO defined voluntary guidelines, named ecolabeling fish and fishery products (March 2005). It recommends that each “ecological seal” is linked: - to a set of specifications (with measurable and controllable criteria).This standard must be officially approved. - to a control procedure by an accredited certification body. The European Commission is currently developing guidelines for responsible fishing certification in order to ensure the accuracy of the different initiatives (quality of references, control plans and certification bodies).

  • Which system should I implement to put a “responsible fishing “ seal on my products ?

    To prove the traceability of fish from responsible fishing, chain of custody must be evaluated in conformity with an annual control plan.


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