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Independent Research, Investigation and Advocacy for Maritime Human Rights

New Seafood Supply Chain Code of Practice Published

PAS 1550:2017 Exercising due diligence in establishing the legal origin of seafood products and marine ingredients – importing and processing – Code of Practice.

Human Rights at Sea is pleased to announce its close involvement in the Steering Group for the development of the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 1550:2017 concerning a new voluntary Code of Practice for due diligence and fair working practices in the fisheries sector. 

The charity worked alongside 15 other stakeholders including the British Retail Consortium (BRC), ClientEarth, Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), FishWise, Food and Drink Federation (FDF), Lovering Foods Ltd., Marine Management Organisation (MMO), MRAG Ltd., Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew), Seafish, UK Seafood Industry Alliance, Tesco Stores Limited, Wm. Morrison Supermarkets plc and WWF.

As a Code of Practice, this PAS takes the form of guidance and recommendations. It incorporates labour issues and considers illegal treatment of crew on fishing vessels to be linked with illegal fishing. One of the aims of this PAS is to help enable decent working conditions to be provided not only on board vessels but at all factories, work stations and during all activities throughout supply chains.

The PAS builds on the BRC Advisory Note for the UK supply chain on how to avoid Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishery products, which was published in February 2015, by including in addition, aspects of traceability as well as social elements. The PAS is aimed at processors and importers and gives recommendations on: the considerations within a due diligence system in order to minimise the risk of IUU seafood in the supply chain; the considerations to minimise the risk of a lack of decent conditions at work in the supply chain; and what traceability systems are used to deliver the ability to verify the claim.

A PAS is a document that standardizes elements of a product, service or process. PASs are usually commissioned by industry leaders – be they individual companies, SMEs, trade associations or government departments.

The PAS was developed with the financial support of the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew) and WWF) Its development was facilitated by BSI Standards Limited and it was published under licence from The British Standards Institution (BSI). It came into effect on 31 July 2017.

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