ASMI's RFM Program First to Achieve GSSI Recognition in Milestone for Seafood Sustainability
The Board of GSSI announced yesterday that ASMI’s RFM certification program was the first to be recognized as being in full compliance with the GSSI Global Benchmark Tool. This is a milestone for seafood sustainability certifications writes John Sackton and Peggy Parker. This is because ASMI’s RFM scheme is the first program that is partially supported by public funds to meet GSSI standards. "It is the first certification standard to marry government financing, which pays for part of ASMI’s budget and for fishery management costs in Alaska, with seafood certification schemes," write Sackton and Parker. "ASMI and RFM deserve congratulations on doing the very hard work needed to bring their program up to the GSSI standard in all essential areas, including governance."
We run a story about California's confidential fishing permit rights and how the state regulations have fostered the creation of a squid cartel. According to California state law the names of the people and companies who own rights to harvest squid are not publicly available. This has allowed large seafood processing companies to buy out independent fishermen to secure their supply over competing buyers. This has reduced competition in the industry and cut potential earnings by fishermen and fishing families according to the report.
In other news, domestic demand for Mississippi catfish is high this year as estimates peg the state's production to match 2015 levels. Producers are receiving an average of $1.12 to $1.21 per pound of catfish and paying less than $380 for a ton of feed according to Jimmy Avery, Extension aquaculture professor at the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center.
Meanwhile, there is limited data available that pinpoints exactly where Maine's lobster fishermen actually fish. Most of them operate within 3 miles off the coast and do not fill out federal catch reports or have onboard satellite tracking systems. State, federal and non-profit agencies have increasingly noticed the lack of data, particularly by those responsible for permitting non-fishing activities in the Gulf of Maine, such as wind farms or mining operations.
Finally, Kroger plans to source all its wild-caught seafood from fisheries that are either MSC certified, in MSC full assessment, in comprehensive Fishery Improvement Projects, or certified by other Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative‐recognized programs by 2020. This goal expands on the retailer's original seafood procurement plan.
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