100th vessel certified in Responsible Fishing Scheme – Fishupdate.com

100th vessel certified in Responsible Fishing Scheme Published:  16 October, 2007

John Rutherford

THE 100th vessel has passed the certification audit under the Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS), Seafish has announced.

Gleaner II, fishing for nephrops (Scottish langoustine) out of Campbeltown in Western Scotland, had the honour of being the 100th qualifying vessel last week.

Skipper Tommy Finn said: “We’re delighted to be involved in the scheme, especially to be the 100th vessel to qualify. It’s a great opportunity to promote Scottish shellfish by raising standards across the board.”

The vessel was coached through the scheme by Lachie Paterson of the Fishing Industry Training Assosiation (Highlands & Islands), and independently audited by Dick Wailes of Moody Marine.

The scheme has 350 vessels either certified or passing through the scheme and more are joining all the time.

John Rutherford, Chief Executive of Seafish, said: “It is tremendous that this industry-led scheme of voluntary compliance has been so well accepted. What is particularly pleasing is that the scheme has seen involvement from all sectors, right from day boats through to the largest pelagic vessels.”

Launched last May at the Fishing 2006 show, the scheme continues to exceed all expectations and is beginning to set an international benchmark for vessel good practice and accountability. Its success has attracted interest from other fishing nations, with particular interest being shown by the Dutch fishing sector, who are investigating methods of implementing it for their fleet.

Libby Woodhatch, Chief Executive of Seafood Scotland said: “We are dealing with a growing number of enquiries from domestic and export markets as buyers become ever more discerning and look for external accreditation to give them the confidence to buy fish caught by UK vessels, which is where the RFS is becoming increasingly important”.

Gleaner II qualified for RFS during Seafood Week 2007, which Seafish has described as the most successful campaign since it started in 2000. Businesses from across the entire seafood industry signed up, joining a long list of chefs and celebrities, keen to pledge their support for the week. Seafish says the campaign showed how easy it can be to eat the recommended two portions a week whilst encouraging consumers to buy seafood from sustainable sources.

More information on the Responsible Fishing Scheme can be found at www.seafish.org/rfs, which contains information on joining the scheme, a full list of certified vessels, and downloadable flyers and brochures.

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