Friend of the Sea urges for regulation of Sustainable Seafood claims at FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI)

Makes statement that third-party certification and national accreditation should be mandatory for making claims about seafood sustainability

Friend of the Sea, the preeminent certification standard for products and services that respect and protect the marine environment, yesterday issued a statement at the 34th Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) that third-party certification and national accreditation should be mandatory for making claims about seafood sustainability.

It’s truly an honor to be standing at this significant global event,” said Paolo Bray, Director of Friend of the Sea. “COFI is a major forum for discussions of sustainable fisheries. For this reason, we felt it was an auspicious moment to make a statement about the importance of third-party certification. It is only with external audits that fish producers and consumers can feel confident that the industry is implementing environmentally friendly practices.

Regulation of Sustainable Seafood Claims

The statement reads, “Friend of the Sea believes that current unregulated, uncontrolled and unverified seafood and ocean derived products’ sustainability self-and-second-party-claims are misleading consumers, generating unfair competition and preventing small scale producers to enter important markets. A standard’s recognition by the National Accreditation bodies should be mandatory in order for producers to be authorized to make seafood and Omega3 sustainability claims. This process is widely accepted for Organic and Food Safety standards worldwide. Friend of the Sea recommends governments to request Standards’ recognition by National Accreditation Bodies and certification by accredited Certification Bodies as mandatory requirements for Seafood and Omega3 sustainability claims.”

What COFI is in United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) Council

COFI is a subsidiary body of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) Council. It was established by the FAO Conference in 1965. COFI is the only global inter-governmental forum where FAO Members meet to review and consider the issues and challenges related to fisheries and aquaculture. The 34th COFI session is taking place from February 1 to 5, 2021