New RFS application packs make applying for the scheme easier than ever

03 November 2016

Seafish has launched its revamped and slimmed down Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) application process for vessel owners and skippers. Following feedback gathered from fishermen on RFS Support Courses and listening to crews around the country, all revised information can now be downloaded from the RFS website (www.seafish.org/rfs) making applying for the scheme simpler than ever before.

The RFS has been developed to raise standards in the catching sector, enabling those within the seafood supply chain to demonstrate their commitment to the responsible sourcing of seafood. The RFS is the only global standard that audits compliance on board fishing vessels, including safety and welfare criteria. The biggest names in retail, processing and food service supply have committed to incorporating RFS certification into their sourcing policies. To date, the RFS has more than 190 vessels engaged, with 26 of those fully certified.

Acting as a one-stop shop for application forms, support documentation and guidance, the RFS website now also contains updated Compliance Support Guides (CSGs) to help applicants understand all areas that need to be complied with to successfully achieve RFS certification.

There are now six CSGs in total; five sector-specific guides, (Demersal, Shellfish, Nephrops, Pelagic and Scallops), and one consolidated cross sector guide that applies to all sectors and covers issues such as health and safety, catch traceability, onboard food preparation and the environment. Applicants should read each of the relevant CSGs before submitting their RFS application forms.

Mick Bacon, RFS Fleet Manager said: "The new online forms and CSGs make applying for the RFS even more straightforward. Most skippers who have completed the certification process realise that they are already working at the high level that the scheme demands, so accreditation provides a fantastic opportunity for them to be recognised for this best practice."

More information on the Responsible Fishing Scheme can be found at www.seafish.org/rfs or by contacting Mick Bacon Michael.bacon@seafish.co.uk or Kara Brydson, kara.brydson@seafish.co.uk.