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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested a certification program?

The Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested program verifies seafood that meets important criteria around sustainability and traceability. Technically, certification standards are outlined by one entity and the actual audits against the standard are conducted by another. Because GMRI developed the criteria for the program and assesses fisheries against the criteria, this is a verification program that engages the seafood industry in continually improving the sustainability of seafood. The Marine Stewardship Council is a good example of a globally recognized certification program for wild-harvested fisheries.

Why is a product listed on another group’s red list, but verified by GMRI's program?

There are many possible reasons for discrepancies between different programs recommendations.

  1. Scale: Some programs assess whole species at a time, whereas the Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested program takes a more intimate look at specific stocks. This allows us to differentiate Georges Bank haddock, for example, from Atlantic haddock as a whole.
  2. Different standards: Standards vary from one program to another. Some criteria are designed to be stringent in order to recognize only the top fisheries, while others outline fundamental criteria that all fisheries should meet. GMRI developed this program to recognize fisheries that meet important requirements around responsible harvest, along with industry members who commit to constantly improving on the sustainability of the seafood industry.
  3. Outdated information: Fish stocks and management strategies change all the time. Yet, seafood recommendations, particularly those that are printed don't always reflect the latest information. Because of our regional focus, you can count on our assessments remaining up to date and accurate. 

What species have been verified by the Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested program?

We countinuously update our list of verified species. For information on these stocks, see the species fact sheets.

Where does GMRI get the data when determining if a species meets the program’s standard?

To verify whether a stock meets our criteria, GMRI reviews stock assessments and management plans. Some stocks are managed by federal and state governments, which requires review of several management strategies. Further, GMRI consults with fishery managers and scientists to gain greater context.