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Report

10 Feb 2023

Author:
Human Rights At Sea

Report: A review of fisheries certification, standards and ratings

'Does it do what it says on the tin?', 8 February 2023

Following an ongoing three-year project, Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) today published its first independent review of voluntary international certifications, standards and ratings across the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

The report "Does it Do what it Says on the Tin" is framed as an 'Ecosystem 1.0 review', and seeks to catalyse public discussion around whether or not the identified entities are integrating human and labour rights protections within their own certification, standard or rating...

CEO, David Hammond said: "Human rights abuses in seafood supply chains are no longer out of sight, nor out of mind. It is, therefore, time to come together, act as a collective and address the current gaps in fishery and aquaculture certifications, standards and rating programs for the betterment of the millions of workers working in seafood supply chains."

...Across the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, the often-blatant disregard of assured protections for fundamental worker’s rights through voluntary certifications, standards and rating schemes that aim to measure the environmental and sometimes the chain of custody performance of commercial operations remains prevalent. This situation is not acceptable.

What seems like a persistent reluctance to comprehensively address the social aspects of fisheries and aquaculture means that human and labour rights protections are regularly excluded from voluntary evaluations and audits of performance for most at-sea operations...

Recommendations

  1. All certifications, standards and ratings programs should note the contents of the HRAS review and publicly act upon the issues raised.
  2. All certifications, standards and ratings must be accountable for their inclusion, reporting, tracking and support to victim remediation for all incidents of worker rights abuse about which they are put on notice; however, that notice is given.
  3. Bi-annual updates of the ecosystem reviews are required and must be funded for public awareness of individual program improvements.