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Seafish Announces First RFS Renewal

by 5m Editor
28 September 2009, at 1:00am

UK - Seafish, the authority on seafood, has announced the first skipper to renew his Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) certificate.

Ayrshire skipper Ian Wightman was the first fisherman to join the Responsible Fishing Scheme and is the first to renew his certificate with the scheme.

He skippers the Eilidh Anne, a day boat fishing for langoustine out of Largs, on the Firth of Clyde.

Ian has been a fisherman for nearly thirty years and has always tried to run his business in the most environmentally friendly and sustainable way. He recently won the 'Catching for the Market' award at the 2009 Seafood Awards.

Mr Wightman said: "I didn't join the RFS to make more money on my catch, but to improve the provenance of my langoustine. I figured that if the markets dropped, as they have done, being part of RFS would give my catch the edge since buyers are being pushed to prove the traceability of their products."

Developed in 2006 by Seafish, the Responsible Fishing Scheme promotes good operational and environmental practices. Based on a Publicly Available Specification from the British Standards Institution (BSi), the scheme is an independent, audited assessment of the application of good practice by a vessel skipper and crew in their fishing operations.

There are nearly 600 UK registered vessels actively involved with the scheme, with over 340 now fully certified. This represents over 44% of the overall registered tonnage of the British fishing fleet.

"I believe the RFS is the way forward and I am encouraging other local vessels to join. Processors are now well aware of RFS but now we need to work more with the consumer," Mr Wightman concluded.

Mick Bacon, Project Manager for the RFS, said: "I'm delighted with the success of the RFS so far. It shows that the fishing industry in the UK is serious about setting high standards and caring for the marine environment. I'm looking forward to the scheme growing in strength over the coming years and continuing to build relationships with the processing and retail sectors."

5m Editor