Young's backs work on UK responsible fishing ports

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 1 Mar 2019

Grimsby-based Seafish, the public body that supports the £10 billion UK seafood industry, is calling for industry leaders to help shape a new version of the Responsible Fishing Ports Scheme for smaller operations - with strong town backing.

Launched in July 2018, RFPS is a voluntary certified programme designed to demonstrate responsible food safety and good operational practices within UK fishing ports and harbours.

Chief executive of Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises, Martyn Boyers, played a key role as the independently audited scheme was developed, with the stated aim to raise standards across the fishing ports sector. Currently it is open for applications from large fishing ports with an auction or direct sale function.

Peterhead Port, now the UK's largest, is the first fishing port to apply to be certified under the large ports scheme. 

Standards provide assurance to buyers and sellers of seafood that certified fishing ports are acting in a responsible manner with the seafood landed or sold through the market.

Nicholas Donnelly, communications manager at Young’s Seafood, said: “As part of a modern food industry, Young’s Seafood places great value in the independent inspection and certification of our upstream supply chains. With the creation of a third party Responsible Fishing Ports Scheme, it is now possible for our UK-caught products to be produced entirely within an independently audited and certified supply chain, offering greater business confidence for us, and an increased level of assurance for our customers.”

Read more: Profits hold strong for Young's Seafood as Q1 results delivered

Following the launch of the large ports scheme, Seafish is now looking to develop a new version of the scheme for smaller ports. Industry leaders and representatives from small ports are invited to help by providing information about fishing port facilities and by joining a development committee which will steer the development of the small ports scheme to ensure that it is fit for purpose. The committee will also help to establish the assessment framework, which will be informed by the information gathered about facilities at small fishing ports.

Progress on collating information to support the development of the scheme is underway following a schedule of visits to small ports across the UK. Support for the scheme has been expressed by Tony Usher, harbours manager at Highland Council, and Kevin Quigley, chief executive of Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority, who have welcomed the initiative as a complement to the existing standard for large ports and indicated their willingness to become committee members to help steer the project and provide information to underpin the scheme’s development.

Read more: Students catch up on the Future of Food

Marcus Jacklin, RFPS project manager, said: “In the process of creating the Responsible Fishing Ports Scheme, it became clear that large and small ports each needed their own standard to ensure the scheme is fit for purpose and covers the requirements of all types of fishing ports and harbours in the UK.

“We are now pleased to be moving forward with the development of a standard which will give small ports an opportunity to apply for certification that acknowledges their responsible operating practices. We look forward to working with the small port sector and would encourage anyone who owns or manages a small fishing port in the UK and would like to help shape the scheme to get in touch.”

Further information about the RFPS is available on the Seafish website.

To find out more about getting involved in shaping the small ports scheme or applying for RFPS large port certification, contact Marcus Jacklin on or call 01472 252 340.

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