First award given in North America and only second awarded globally
The At-sea Processors Association (APA) announced this week that its catcher-processor fleet has been certified using the FISH Standard for Crew, an independent third-party certification program for labor practices on fishing vessels.
The certification covers 14 catcher-processor vessels operating in the Alaska pollock and Pacific hake fisheries, “which annually provide product for billions of seafood meals enjoyed by American and global consumers,” APA said in a press release.
The certified APA vessels are operated by American Seafoods, Arctic Storm, Coastal Villages, Glacier Fish, and Trident Seafoods.
“Our employees are at the core of our operations,” said Jim Johnson, who serves as APA President and is also President & CEO of Glacier Fish Company, one of APA’s five members. “It is incumbent on all of us to ensure that crew members are treated with the utmost fairness at every stage of the recruitment and employment process. We are proud to have voluntarily committed to this additional layer of scrutiny, which should give buyers and consumers continued confidence that we are doing right by the men and women who produce our seafood.”
The press release said “The exhaustive audit process included inspection of vessels; private interviews with crews; review of company recruitment practices, pay records and grievance logs; examination of safety protocols; and scrutiny of many other aspects of catcher-processor vessel operations relating to crew welfare.”
“APA members have long-standing commitments to safety and responsible treatment of crews, and now their catcher-processor vessels are independently confirmed to be operating in accordance with rigorous crew welfare standards,” said Stephanie Madsen, APA’s Executive Director. “There is a lot of momentum right now—from governments, industry, and civil society—to address instances of unethical treatment of workers in global supply chains. We believe the FISH Standard for Crew can be one important tool in those efforts as they relate to seafood. Through this certification, we are proud to be helping raise the bar on what should be expected globally from those who operate fishing vessels.”