Verifying Responsible Harvest

Meeting responsible harvest criteria

The Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested label highlights seafood that meets important criteria around responsible harvest. To verify a species, GMRI develops assessment reports with input and review from GMRI scientists and staff. An external review panel of scientists from outside of GMRI contributes to the process by reviewing the verification assessment reports, and three external scientists provide expert opinion on the accuracy and completeness of every report. The ultimate decision regarding verification of a species that meets the criteria rests with GMRI.

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.
A dish of colorful seafood sits behind a transparent blue foreground that has white outlined seafood appearing about an X-Y graph that is surging upwards.

Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested Standard

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

Verifying cultured 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.
A graphic of an American plaice, a brownish flounder.

Verified Species and Assessments

This report 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

Staff Contact

Sophie Scott
Sophie Scott Sustainable Seafood Project Manager (207) 228-1688 [email protected]

Project Team

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