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The fishing safety net widens thanks to a new global standard.

Fishing vessels can now take significant steps to prove their operations are ethical and safe thanks to the launch of the new Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard (RFVS) owned by Global Seafood Alliance.

With the support of industry partners, including global supply chain assurance specialist, Lloyd’s Register (LR), RFVS will enable fishing operations to provide assurance of safe working conditions and operational best practice. The world’s first independent certification scheme looking at the social welfare of fishing vessel workers, RFVS has been launched to address human rights and the welfare of fishing crew including working best practice conditions.

Suitable for fishing fleets and vessels of all sizes around the world, suppliers and retailers involved in the seafood industry are being encouraged to look for the RFVS certification from fleets or primary processors.

LR was the lead provider during the piloting stage. Here, LR drew upon its extensive experience in the seafood industry, where it was the only certification body for the former UK-based Responsible Fishing Scheme.

Martin Gill, Head of Fisheries and Aquaculture at LR, said: “Commercial fishing is still one of the most dangerous occupations in the world, therefore the launch of RFVS is a welcome and much-needed development. The scheme will play a crucial role to ensure boats, wherever they operate in the world, are safe working environments and meet the legal requirements.

“Fishing vessels which have been issued the RFVS certificate are demonstrating, through independent audits by trained auditors, that their crews are appropriately trained, meet minimum age requirements for work and are fit to carry out their role. And, crucially, that everyone working on the fishing vessel is being paid a fair wage.”

As part of its continuing role to support the fishing industry, LR will provide independent audits against the RFVS.

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