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GSA Officially Introduces One-Of-A-Kind Best Seafood Practices Certification Program

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By Milthon Lujan

The Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) on June 2 officially introduced Best Seafood Practices (BSP), the world’s only third-party certification program capable of providing credible third-party assurances linking responsible wild-capture fisheries to Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard (RFVS)-certified vessels and Seafood Processing Plant Standard (SPS)-certified facilities through the Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard.

BSP is the wild fisheries equivalent of the well established Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party aquaculture certification program, and both BSP and BAP are housed under GSA. Currently, the BSP program consists of RFVS, while the BAP program encompasses seven sets of standards (BAP Farm Standard, BAP Salmon Farm Standard, BAP Mollusk Farm Standard, BAP Hatchery & Nursery Standard, BAP Feed Mill Standard and BAP Biosecurity Area Management Standard and BAP Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard). SPS applies to both the BSP and BAP programs. 

“We value our relationship with the Global Seafood Alliance and commend their continued commitment to expanding seafood certification programs. The Best Seafood Practices program can provide the third-party assurances that companies like US Foods can use to support ongoing responsibly sourced seafood programs, and we look forward to exploring these opportunities,” said Jennifer Wandler, senior director of category management-seafood for US Foods.

“Atlantic Capes Fisheries is an early supporter of the BSP program because we believe in GSA’s vision and see value in one organization providing assurances for both the wild and farmed seafood supply chains,” added Matthew Grolnic, director of quality assurance for Atlantic Capes Fisheries. “By attaining certification of our processing plants, sourcing from responsible fisheries and starting the certification process of our vessels, we have greater access to the marketplace and demonstrate to our customers that we use safe and responsible practices.”

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A BSP landing page is now available with information on RFVS and SPS as well as contact information for those who want to learn more about or participate in the program. The landing page will be built out as a stand-alone website. 

The introduction of the BSP program comes in the wake of GSA officially changing its name from the Global Aquaculture Alliance following votes by the boards of directors of GAA and Global Seafood Assurances, GAA’s sister organization. 

The journey to the Global Seafood Alliance began in 2018 with the formation of Global Seafood Assurances to address gaps in the seafood value chain. Since then, SPS has been updated to Issue 5.1 to include processing plants that process wild seafood and RFVS has been acquired from The Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) and internationalized, with the first RFVS-certified vessel announced in Australia in January and the second set of RFVS-certified vessels announced in the United Kingdom last month.

“All along our goal has been to expand supplies of responsibly produced seafood and provide the marketplace with the third-party assurances that it has come to expect. Best Seafood Practices does just that. It truly is a one-of-a-kind program linking responsible wild-capture fisheries to vessels certified against RFVS and seafood processing plants certified against SPS,” said Wally Stevens, CEO of the Global Seafood Alliance.

About BSP

Best Seafood Practices is a third-party certification program administered by the Global Seafood Alliance, an international, nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing responsible seafood practices through education, advocacy and third-party assurances. BSP is the world’s only third-party certification program capable of linking responsible wild fisheries to certified vessels and processing plants. BSP provides assurances to the marketplace that wild seafood has been harvested and processed in an ethical manner with respect for the wellbeing and security of all workers across the supply chain. To learn more, visit bspcertification.org

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