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Of the number of rigorous standards for responsible fisheries management and sustainable seafood, Audubon Nature Institute has selected the FAO-Based Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification Program. This program assesses fisheries for compliance with criteria derived from the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, as well as their Guidelines for the Ecolabeling of Fish and Fishery Products.
The Code is the most well known, internationally agreed upon set of principles for responsible fisheries management. It is the product of a multiyear, collaborative effort among members of the FAO and representatives from the fishing industry and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The Code establishes a comprehensive framework to guide the effective conservation, management, and development of fisheries and the sustainable use of aquatic resources. It takes into account not only the biological characteristics of the resource and its environment, but also the nutritional, socioeconomic, and cultural importance of fisheries.
The RFM certification program is formally accredited to the International Standards Organization (ISO) 65 standard and requires the third-party certification bodies to be accredited, both of which ensure the program’s objectivity and integrity.