Seafish, the industry authority on seafood, officially launched the Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) in Scotland this week with a visit to Peterhead to meet local fishermen and processors.
RFS has recently been redeveloped by Seafish to certify best practice on fishing vessels including the welfare of crew on board.
Major UK supermarkets Morrisons and Waitrose have already committed to including RFS certification in their future seafood sourcing policies.
Following on from a successful launch at Westminster and a visit to Northern Ireland, the RFS team hosted an information day in Peterhead to give the Scottish fishing industry an update on progress of the standard.
Attendees were given information on an upcoming one-day RFS Support course which Seafish is developing to support the industry with RFS.
Aimed at skippers, vessel owners, producer organisations and the rest of the supply chain, the course will provide guidance on the audit process and equip attendees with the knowledge to support others through the audit.
The course will be run from May onwards across the UK, including Peterhead.
During the official launch, attendees also heard from Anne-Margaret Anderson of the Scottish White Fish Producer’s Association (SWFPA), on their commitment to supporting all of their members to go through RFS certification.
Two more Scottish vessels, the Lunar Bow and Pathway, which both fish out of Peterhead, were certified after successfully completing the RFS audit, with the vessels’ respective skippers AJ Buchan and William Buchan both on hand to accept their RFS certificates.
Kara Brydson, RFS Programme Manager at Seafish, said: “We have been pleased with the support we’ve already had in Scotland and as the key landing region in the UK, it was vital for us to come to Peterhead and speak directly to the industry to ensure they are well informed on how RFS is progressing and what it means for them.
“There is still a long journey ahead in ensuring the fishermen have the assistance they need to become members of the scheme and we are maximising every opportunity we have to work with the catching sector and the supply chain to encourage a locally based support network to be put in place.”