Alaska’s RFM program recognized by UK coalition

Alaska’s Responsible Fisheries Management certification program is being cited by a United Kingdom-based sustainable fisheries coalition for demonstrating the same standards advocating for ecolabeling of fish and fishery products.

The Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative Steering Board made the announcement from Rome, Italy on July 12, during the 32nd session of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Committee on Fisheries.

Ecolabeling is a voluntary method of environmental performance certification and labeling that identifies products or services proven environmentally preferable overall, within specific product or service categories.

GSSI said that the Alaska RFM Program, developed by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, has successfully completed the process as the first GSSI-recognized scheme, following the launch of GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool last October.

Audum Lem, deputy director of the fisheries and aquaculture policy and economics division of FAO, commended the Alaska RFM Program for having successfully completed the GSSI benchmark process, saying the program had proven alignment with all components of that benchmark tool, which are grounded in the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and related instruments.

“The recognition of robust certification programs by GSSI will improve transparency in seafood certification and increase confidence in the seafood market, objectives FAO fully supports,” Lem said.


GSSI was launched by the Sustainable Seafood Coalition, a group of United Kingdom businesses whose goal is to use market influence to tackle seafood sustainability issues. The SSC defines minimum standards of sustainability across the UK seafood supply chain, to assure that its members have made responsible choices on behalf of consumers in deciding what seafood to buy.

SSC membership currently represents the majority of UK retailers and seafood businesses within the seafood industry, as well as businesses from the food service sector and their suppliers.

ASMI developed the RFM Program in 2010 to offer seafood buyers and sellers a credible, cost-effective choice in seafood certification. Its aim was to deliver a voluntary, internationally accredited, third party certification of Responsible Fisheries Management based on existing and widely accepted fisheries management models and guidance documents of the FAO program.
More information on the Alaska RFM Program is online at

Details about GSSI Benchmarking can be found at