Version 1.2

Conformance Criteria V1.2

ASMI accepted public comment on the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2, September 2011) from December 3, 2014 through end of the day February 10, 2015. The Public Comment period is now closed.

The criteria found in the following FAO documents comprise the Alaska RFM Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2):

  • The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries 1995
  • The FAO Guidelines for Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products for Marine Capture Fisheries 2005/2009
  • The FAO Fisheries Circular No. 917 , October 1996

These documents are considered the best globally acceptable and balanced framework for fisheries eco-certification. Click here to open a pdf of the Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2).

How the Alaska RFM Conformance Critiera (Version 1.2) Were Developed:

It first begins with the creation of the FAO documents

  • The UN FAO through the nature of its business created 3 key fishery reference documents from which the FAO based RFM Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2) were derived
    These three key FAO reference documents are listed in the formal accreditation publication for the RFM program and are:
    • FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries
    • FAO Eco-labelling Guidelines for Fishery products
    • FAO circular #917
  • The FAO Code of Conduct was the result of an open and transparent multi-stakeholder process, which began in 1991 and was completed in 1995. The process is documented in the Preface and Annex 1 and 2 of the Code


  • After an open competitive RFP process, ASMI engaged Global Trust to facilitate the formatting of the FAO Code, Eco-Labelling Guidelines and Circular #917 to an auditable criteria framework

The FAO Normative Documents, Which Comprise The RFM Framework, Included A Multi-Stakeholder Process

  • ASMI required Global Trust to facilitate a process that could gain external ISO accreditation, which would be recognized similar to that format which was used for food safety management and GFSI
  • Global Trust acted as facilitator and secretariat (non-voting member) to a Conformance Criteria committee with formal terms of reference
  • The Conformance Criteria Committee were appointed based on expertise and independence
  • Global Trust acted as a facilitator and secretariat for an independent Oversight Board who reviewed and approved the workings of the Conformance Criteria Committee
  • The Minutes of meetings, discussions and finding of the Conformance Criteria Committee were submitted as part of the formal ISO accreditation
  • The Oversight Board voted on the final draft of the Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2) and agreed that it was directly derived from the FAO Code and this was then submitted to the National Accreditation Board for formal ISO accreditation review under ISO 65 Standard
  • The ISO process is founded on the work of independent, expert committees

Conformance Criteria Committee And Advisors (2011/2012):

Ciaran KellyMarine Institute, Galway
Steve GrabackiIndependent Fishery Consultant, Alaska
Eric DunneIndependent Fishery Consultant, Canada
Deidre HoareIndependent Fishery Consultant, Ireland
Dankert SkagenIndependent Fishery Consultant, Nordic
George RoseMunicipal University, Canada
Earl KriegerIndependent Fishery Consultant, Alaska
Bob AlainIndependent Fishery Consultant, Canada
Norman GrahamMarine Institute, Ireland North Atlantic
Bill SmokerIndependent Fishery Consultant, US / Pacific
John CaddyIndependent Fishery Consultant, Ex FAO
Ted LovedayIndependent Fishery Consultant, Australia

Oversight Board (2011/2012):

Chair – Mr Dermott JewellCEO Consumer Association
Dr Grimur ValdimarrsonEx FAO Fisheries Director
Dr Andrew JacksonIndependent Fishery Consultant, Canada
Dr Donal MaguireExecutive – Irish Fisheries Board
Mr Gerry McCurdyDirector – Food Standards Authority
Mr Richie FlynnFarmers Association
Mr Peter MarshallCEO GTC, Secretariat (Non-Voting)

Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2) Metrics

  • The Conformance Criteria Committee established and documented the evidence what a fully conformant fishery should be able to demonstrate
  • The Committee established what constituted non-conformances and what magnitude of non-conformance it would be
  • Global Trust had no voting rights on this committee

How the Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2) and Assessment Process Was Accresited:

  • The proposed Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2) and Assessment Methodology were submitted to a formal National Accreditation Board for Accreditation review in 2010  – INAB
  • INAB engaged the accreditation and technical advisory services of the UK and Dutch Accreditation Board for Peer Review
  • INAB reviewed the Criteria and made comments for improvement
  • INAB attended assessments and made comments for improvement
  • After an 18 month review the INAB accreditation committee deemed the FAO based Criteria and Assessment Process fit for accreditation
  • INAB will and have reviewed the Standard and Process on an annual basis through GTC. Other accreditation boards will review the program through other CBs

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