Verifying Responsible Harvest

Meeting responsible harvest criteria.

The Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested label highlights seafood that meets important criteria around responsible harvest.

A logo that includes the phrase "Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested" as well as an illustration of a fisherman pulling a net out of the water.

To verify a species:

  • We develop assessment reports, with input and review from GMRI scientists and staff, to determine if the harvest of a given species meets responsible harvest criteria.
  • An external review panel of scientists review and provide feedback on the verification assessment reports.
  • Three external scientists provide expert opinion on the accuracy and completeness of every report.
  • Our team, based on input gathered in the report review process, makes the ultimate decision regarding responsible harvest verifications.

Criteria for verifying wild species

  • 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.

Criteria for verifying farmed species

  • Aquaculture operations are regulated by competent authorities that have established and acceptable environmental monitoring regulations in place.
  • Regulatory oversight ensures that aquaculture operations have limited and reversible impacts on the surrounding habitat, species, and ecosystem structure and function.
  • Sufficient data exists to demonstrate that aquaculture operations have limited and reversible environmental impacts.
  • Aquaculture regulations include appropriate compliance and enforcement standards.

For seafood products to bear the Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested® label, they must meet certain harvesting and traceability criteria. Take a more detailed look at the standards that support the label.

Verified Species and Assessments

This document lists the species that currently meet all Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested verification criteria, and includes each species' assessment report.

External Panel of Reviewers

  • John Annala, New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries
  • 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
  • Jean-Jacques Maguire, retired Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Canada)
  • Arnault Le Bris, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Sally Roman, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
  • Yuying Zhang, Florida International University

Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested®

Learn more about the Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested® label.

Project Team

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