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Ecolabels and Marine Capture Fisheries: Current Practice and Emerging Issues












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    Private standards and certification in fisheries and aquaculture: current practice and emerging issues 2011
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    Private standards and related certification schemes are becoming significant features of international fish trade and marketing. They have emerged in areas where there is a perception that public regulatory frameworks are not achieving the desired outcomes, such as sustainability and responsible fisheries management, or to ensure food safety, quality and environmental sustainability in the growing aquaculture industry. Unfortunately, the proliferation of private standards is causing co nfusion for stakeholders: fishers and fish farmers trying to decide which certification scheme will bring the most market returns, buyers trying to decide which standards have most credence in the market and will offer returns to reputation and risk management, and governments trying to decide where private standards fit into their food safety and resource management strategies. This report analyses the two main types of private standards, namely ecolabels and food safety and quality standards, their impact on fish trade and their implications for a range of stakeholders. It addresses issues that are driving the development of private standards, their policy and governance implications, the assessment of their credence, the costs implications, traceability, etc., and the challenges and opportunities for developing countries.
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    Product Certification and Ecolabelling for Fisheries Sustainability 2001
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    Product certification and ecolabelling are tools that can be used to support fisheries management. These tools, while inter-related and serving the same goal, have important differences as currently applied in fisheries. Product certification is commonly a measure mandated by governments, often mutually agreed upon by regional fisheries management organizations, in order to ensure that only legally harvested and reported fish landings can be traded and sold in the domestic or international marke ts. The principal objective of product certification (and catch documentation) is to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in accordance with the 2001 FAO International Plan of Action. Product certification does not necessarily involve a product label at the retail level. Where product certification comes with a label to inform consumers, however, it can influence consumers’ choices. This technical paper provides information on important institutional features and characteristics of product certification schemes including: the linkage with management objectives; the level of government involvement; their validation procedures; and, in the international context, how they deal with non-participants of regional fisheries management organizations and arrangements. Product labels can be mandatory or voluntary and may refer to different kinds of product characteristics or attributes including the product’s composition or contents, product quality or form, as well as environmental or social aspects of the product’s production process or method. The focus in this publication is on voluntary product labelling that conveys environmental information to consumers. The principal objective of an ecolabelling scheme is to create a market-based incentive for better management of fisheries by creating consumer demand for seafood products from well-managed stocks. This technical paper provides information on the theoretical foundation, institutional arrange ments and relationship with international trade law of ecolabelling programmes for fish and fishery products. It also discusses trade access concerns with ecolabelling programmes and examines their operational features including certification criteria, certification costs and chain of custody. The document includes a list of related sites on the Internet.
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    Report of the Expert Consultation on the Development of International Guidelines for Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries. Rome, 14-17 October 2003 2003
    The Expert Consultation on the Development of International Guidelines for Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries was convened by FAO at the request of the twenty-fifth session of the Committee on Fisheries, Rome, 24–28 February 2003. Drawing upon various sources including relevant guides of the International Organization for Standardization, the expert consultation developed draft international guidelines encompassing principles, minimum substantive requiremen ts, criteria and procedures for ecolabelling of fish and fishery products from marine capture fisheries. Minimum substantive requirements and criteria are set forth for assessing whether or not an ecolabel may be awarded to a fishery. Ecolabelling schemes may apply additional or more stringent requirements and criteria. Minimum substantive requirements are specified for each of three areas: management systems, target stocks and ecosystem considerations. For management systems, more specific crit eria are also listed. The draft guidelines also address the three principal procedural and institutional matters that any ecolabelling scheme should encompass: (1) the setting of certification standards, (2) the accreditation of independent certifying bodies, and (3) the certification that a fishery and the product chain of custody are in conformity with the required standard and procedures.

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