Nonprofit takes ownership of ASMI’s RFM program

Alaska’s Seafood Marketing Institute’s third-party sustainable seafood certification program for wild capture fisheries has a new owner, the nonprofit Certified Seafood Collaborative.

ASMI officially handed over ownership of its Responsible Fisheries Management certification program on July 1 to CSC, which has a diverse board of seafood and sustainability industry experts. ASMI had operated the RFM program for the past decade.

“It was always ASMI’s vision to transfer the ownership to an outside entity once RFM had the infrastructure and matured into a globally accepted certification program,” said Mark Fina, a policy analyst with United States Seafoods and CSC interim board chair. “We are thankful to the ASMI board’s vision and dedication in building such a viable program. We are proud to bring the ownership of RFM Certification to our foundation and to continue to offer such a credible choice to the marketplace.”

“Alaskans have always understood that sustainability is essential to a thriving environment, economy and communities,” said Allen Kimball, executive vice president of international operations and salles for Trident Seafoods and a CSC board member. “Since its inception, RFM has grown to be a globally recognized sustainable seafood certification program providing credible independent assurance that Alaska’s fisheries are verified as sustainable. This new ownership by CSC represents a strategic milestone critical to supporting RFM’s expansion to other fisheries and relevance in global markets.”

Three key areas of focus by the CSC Foundation will be decreasing assessment costs over the five-year fishery assessment cycle; expanding use of the program through increasing participation in chain of custody and use of the new RFM logo; and certifying other high-performing fisheries outside of Alaska.

RFM has certification standards for both fisheries and chain of custody. All current RFM fishery standards, certifications, audits, and chain of custody certifications will remain intact and transfer to the CSC’s purview without interruption. ASMI will continue to provide marketing and administrative support for the program.