Formal recognition has been granted to the Marine Eco-Label Japan (MEL) V2 certification scheme by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI), the organization announced this month.
The recognition from GSSI signifies that MEL’s Aquaculture Management Standard (Version 1.0, 2018) and Fisheries Management Standard (Version 2.0, 2018) align with the GSSI Global Benchmark Tool (Version 1.0, 8 October, 2015), which itself is supported by the FAO Ecolabeling Guidelines and the FAO Technical Guidelines for Aquaculture Certification. The tool focuses on “performance areas related to scheme governance, operational management (including chain of custody), and applied aquaculture farm and wild-capture fisheries audit standards,” GSSI said.
The MEL scheme has become the ninth seafood certification to be benchmarked successfully against GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool. Now all products that receive MEL certification can be identified by a special logo including the V2 mark, highlighting GSSI compliance.
“This recognition demonstrates how the Global Benchmark Tool supports schemes and promotes improvement, and will continue to do so through our Monitoring of Continued Alignment (MOCA) process which will review the scheme within a year,” GSSI Managing Director Herman Wisse said.
Marine Eco-Label Japan (MEL) Council President Naoya Kakizoe said the GSSI benchmarking was a milestone for the Japanese seafood industry.
“Today marks an important step for Japan’s seafood sector and for the Japanese aquaculture and fisheries industry," Kakizoe said. "Since February 2017, the MEL Council, in collaboration with Japanese stakeholders, has continuously improved our scheme governance and operational management to harmonize Japan’s rich diversity of nature, culture, and fishing industries with the FAO guidelines as outlined in the GSSI Benchmark Tool."
Logo courtesy of Marine Eco-Label Japan