RFPS Public Consultation

A public consultation on the standard criteria for the Responsible Fishing Ports Scheme (RFPS) is open now. The RFPS standard has been updated and is now relevant to all UK fishing ports.

The RFPS is a voluntary programme developed to promote and encourage responsible operating practices within UK fishing ports and harbours, to give greater assurance and transparency to buyers and users of seafood landed in the UK. It is audited independently and, following certification, allows ports to demonstrate they follow good practice in five core areas: 

  • Food Safety and Structural Integrity, 
  • Port and the Working Environment, 
  • Care for the Environment, 
  • Care of the Catch, and 
  • Traceability.

The first phase of the RFPS, which was launched in 2018, enabled large fishing ports to apply for certification. Since that time, Seafish has continued to work closely with members of the UK seafood industry across the supply chain to develop a draft of the standard that’s applicable for all ports i.e. one standard covering both large and small ports. Following a series of pilot audits on small ports, the RFPS standard has been updated and it can now be applied to all UK fishing ports. 

The criteria in the standard have been developed through close engagement with UK fishing ports and the wider supply chain, with guidance from the Oversight and Technical Board and the Small Ports Sub-Committee. The document is available to download from the link below.

Download the draft standard for the RFPS ports

To enable all types of fishing ports to apply for the RFPS, the standard’s clauses are grouped according to facilities available and activities that occur at the port. The table below describes the clause groupings and the conditions under which they apply – this should be read along with the standard criteria. 


Clause grouping Conditions under which the clause grouping applies
Universal Clauses apply to all ports
Internal catch area Clauses apply to ports with an indoor area where catch is handled or stored 
Market or sales area Clauses apply to ports with a designated selling or auction facility 
Staff Vehicles Clauses apply to ports that employ staff to conduct operations at the port, including part-time, full-time, harbour masters
Vehicles Clauses apply to ports that utilise vehicles, including fork lift trucks
Catch handling area Clauses apply to ports where employees carry out catch handling activities, such as weighing and grading


How to respond to the consultation

Responses should be made using the Response Form available to download from the link below.

Download the Consultation Response Form  

Download the RFPS Public Consultation Guidance

Completed responses should be emailed to Marcus Jacklin on marcus.jacklin@seafish.co.uk by Wednesday 8 April 2020. Please add ‘RFPS Public Consultation Response’ in the subject line of your email.

Following completion of the public consultation, any feedback including formal responses will be reviewed and published online. The Oversight and Technical Board will review this feedback and agree any necessary modifications to the draft standard. Once completed the final draft standard will then be presented to the Seafish Board for final approval before it is released. 


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