The public consultation period for the first draft of the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative’s (GSSI) Global Benchmarking Tool is about to reach its close on Saturday, 16 August.
The GSSI was launched in February 2013 as a partnership of international stakeholders across the seafood industry. Through the creation of the Global Benchmarking Tool it hopes to provide transparency and comparability throughout existing labelling and seafood certification schemes.
The requirements against which schemes will be objectively assessed align with the FAO guidelines on ‘Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries’ and ‘Technical Guidelines for Aquaculture Certification’. The GSSI will recognise certification schemes using a three-tiered approach, which gives the tool the ability to differentiate between “responsible”, “improved” and “leading” practices.
The GSSI has stressed that the tool is still a work in progress. Following the end of the public consultation period, there will be a pilot testing period from September to October. The GSSI hopes to launch the tool by summer 2015 and, with it, seafood businesses – like the members of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC) – may be able to use the tool to make informed sourcing decisions. The SSC is working towards the vision that all fish and seafood sold in the UK is from a sustainable source, and we will soon be launching our voluntary codes of conduct for harmonised seafood labelling and responsible sourcing.