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Verifying Responsible Harvest

The Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested brand highlights fish stocks that have been verified as meeting important criteria around responsible harvest. To verify a stock’s credibility, GMRI develops assessment reports that are reviewed by our researchers, who then determine whether the stock meets the criteria.

An external review panel contributes to the robustness of this process by reviewing GMRI’s verification assessment reports and providing an expert opinion of the accuracy and completeness of GMRI’s assessment report. For every report review, the external panel is made up of at least three reviewers, including one reviewer who serves as chair of the panel. The ultimate decision regarding verification of a stock that meets the criteria remains with GMRI.

Species are currently verified against the following five criteria:

  • Fisheries are managed by competent authorities and have management plans in place that incorporate a science-based approach to ensure sustainability;
  • If stock sizes are below management target levels, whether due to natural or man-made causes, management plans are established that enable rebuilding within a specified time frame;
  • Sufficient data exists to determine harvest levels;
  • Monitoring and compliance measures are in place to ensure acceptable harvest levels;
  • Enforcement exists to ensure that harvesters follow regulations, and to prevent illegal practices and unreported harvest.

Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested standard (PDF)
In-depth explanation of the purpose and principles of the brand

External Review Panel members

  • John Boreman, North Carolina State University
  • Yong Chen, University of Maine Orono
  • Jeremy Collie, University of Rhode Island
  • Olaf Jensen, Rutgers University
  • Yan Jiao, Virginia Tech
  • Jake Kritzer, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Jean-Jacques Maguire, retired Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Canada)
  • Robert O’Boyle, retired Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Canada)
  • Michael Pol, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries