US West Coast Pacific whiting fishery achieves RFM certification

Published on
August 5, 2022
Pacific whiting, or hake, on ice

The Pacific whiting (hake) mid-water trawl fishery is the first fishery outside of Alaska to achieve Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) certification. The fishery covers federal waters off the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, and California.

The Pacific whiting fishery is now eligible to sell products harvested from 10 January, 2022, forward with the RFM eco-label. The RFM certification process was initiatived by the Pacific Whiting Conservation Cooperative (PWCC) and its Certified Seafood Collaborative.

“[We] are delighted to welcome Pacific whiting as the first fishery outside of Alaska to be RFM-certified,” CSC Board Chair Mark Fina said. “We’re proud to see the continued extension of RFM’s reach and we believe RFM certification will be a welcome addition to the PWCC markets now and in the future.”

The RFM fishery standard’s main objective is biological sustainability, with consideration for conservation, biodiversity, and ecosystem integrity.

“We are very pleased to show the world that we’ve joined other world-class RFM-certified fisheries in helping our customers demonstrate proof of certified sustainable sourcing," PWCC Executive Director Daniel Waldeck said. "Certification under the RFM program ensures the availability of multiple sustainable certification sources and provides this benefit without having to pay logo-licensing fees.”

PWCC is a fishing and research cooperative, comprised of three Seattle, Washington-based companies, formed to promote sustainability in the whiting industry. The PWCC's member companies collaborated to improve product recovery rates and decrease bycatch in the whiting fishery sector, it said.

“This is a validating achievement for all those involved in our fishery, who tirelessly work to ensure the health of stocks and habitats. Collaborative efforts from all those involved in the management system, including NGOs, scientists, and fishing organizations, are critical to the successful responsible management of Pacific whiting," PWCC President Mike Luchino said.

Photo courtesy of Joaquin Corbalan P/Shutterstock 

Contributing editor/Reporting from Hawaii, U.S.A.

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