Mike Kraft has been appointed as the executive director of the FISH Standard for Crew, an accredited third-party certification program announced earlier this year.
Established by a diverse group of fish harvesting experts, the new certification program seeks to ensure that fish sold all around the world is handled by crews who are ethically hired, treated with respect, paid properly, and allowed fair access to address grievance. Its scope is built upon four pillars represented by the name "FISH": fairness, integrity, safety, and health. The FISH Standard is open for public comment until 8 March, 2021.
Kraft years of industry leadership and experience working on social standards in the fishing sector to the role. He has spent more than 11 years with Bumble Bee Seafoods as its vice president of global sustainability and social responsibility, and served in the United States Marine Corps for over a decade, according to Fridrik Fridriksson, chair of the FISH Standard’s board of directors and chief human resources officer at Brim.
“As a United States Marine Corps officer for over a decade, who also happens to have an MBA, Mike brings outstanding leadership and business acumen to our organization,” Fridriksson said in a press release detailing Kraft’s appointment. “Importantly, he also brings extensive knowledge of the wild-capture fisheries community and hands-on experience with vessel social audits.”
Kraft, Bumble Bee's current director of sustainability, has engaged with seafood stakeholders across the supply chain, including harvesters, retail customers, auditors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and government agencies. He has participated in pre-competitive collaborations, including the Seafood Task Force, in addition to leading initiatives focused on seafood traceability, fishery improvement projects, and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.
“I am truly thrilled to be taking on the executive director role at FISH and look forward to using my experience to advance the important and outstanding work the FISH board and standards oversight committee have begun,” Kraft said.
In his new role, Kraft will be working closely the FISH Standard’s 11-person board of directors and eight-person standards oversight committee.
“The expectations for responsible treatment of all workers within seafood supply chains, particularly the fishers, are higher than ever from retailers and food service operators, governments, NGOs, and consumers,” Kraft said. “FISH will help harvesters assure stakeholders that the seafood they’re sourcing comes from a responsible partner with respect to crew treatment.”