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Commercial Fishing



Certification for Icelandic redfish fishery. An independent certification committee of Global Trust/SAI Global has awarded re-certification to the Icelandic Golden redfish (Sebastes norwegicus). The certification demonstrates that the fisheries are managed in a responsible manner according to internationally recognised criteria and is a testament to the continued development of Icelandic fisheries. The certificate is valid for 5 years with annual surveillance assessments.

The certification is to the Iceland Responsible Fisheries Management Standard (IRFM, Version 2.0) The re-assessment was in accordance with the third party, ISO17065 accredited system of Global Trust Certification Ltd.  and provides a credible and independent certification of responsible fisheries management.

The assessment included a thorough review of the Icelandic fisheries management system including laws, regulations and operations; the Individual Transferable Quota system; data collection, research and stock assessment; enforcement activities and an assessment of the fisheries effects on the ecosystem. Overall, the assessment concluded that the management system and harvest control rules (HCR) adopted a precautionary approach, allowing for responsible harvesting and careful treatment of the wider ecosystem.

The Golden redfish quota for the current fishing year (Sept 2018 – August 2019) is 43,600 tonnes.

The final certification reports are posted on the IRF website (www.ResponsibleFisheries.is).

The programme

The Iceland Responsible Fisheries Certification Programme is common sense, practical and cost-effective approach for Icelandic fisheries to meet the FAO criteria for credible certification.

The main purpose of the programme is to:

  • Preserve the fisheries management principles adopted by the international community
  • Document well-managed Icelandic fisheries to the highest level of assurance
  • Promote community consensus behind good discipline in fisheries management
  • Offer our customers a choice in certification

FAO-Based certification

The IRF certification programme complies with the strictest international requirements. It is based on articles and substantive criteria from the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) reference documents, FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF(1995)) as well as the FAO Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries (2005/2009).

Collectively, these FAO documents provide the basis of the scope of fishery certification and the technical requirements that a fishery must be able to demonstrate to become certified.

Third-Party Certification

This programme utilizes a certification body that is accredited to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Global Trust Certification Ltd., an SAI GLOBAL company, independently manages the certification and assessment methodology that is used to assess and certify Icelandic fisheries. Read more about Global Trust’s role in the IRF programme.

GSSI Recognised

The programme has been recognised by the Global Seafood Sustainable Initiative (GSSI). The result is a model that is practical, verifiable, transparent and incorporates the criteria and procedures outlined in the FAO Code and Guidelines.