Iceland Responsible Fisheries

For the benefit of future generations

In recent years, demand for sustainable use of renewable resources, including fish stocks, has increased greatly throughout the world. Sustainability is almost becoming a key word in seafood industry. Sustainable and responsible fisheries management in Iceland is of a fundamental importance as fisheries are one of the main pillars of the Icelandic economy. The seafood industry is meeting demands of seafood buyers for sustainable use of marine resources with Iceland Responsible Fisheries programme, developed on the basis of commitments made through national law and international agreements. 

Statement on Responsible Fisheries in Iceland

In 2007, the Statement on Responsible Fisheries in Iceland was released. The statement was a response to market demands for sustainable utilization of marine resources and was designed to inform buyers on how fisheries management is conducted in Iceland and that controls would be based on the best scientific knowledge. It also stated that the Government undertakes to obey international law and agreements on access to marine resources, which they have signed.

LOGO of origin

The Iceland Responsible Fisheries logo that indicates product origin of wild catch fish in Icelandic waters was released in 2009. The logo indicates Icelandic origin of fish catches in Icelandic waters and responsible fisheries management. The logo provides opportunities for stakeholders in the value chain of Icelandic seafood to highlight Icelandic origin. Icelandic fishing vessel owners, processing plants as well as other stakeholders in the value chain of Icelandic seafood products can apply for a permit to use the logo.

Third party certification

The FAO-ISO based Iceland Responsible Fisheries Management Programme is based on the Articles and minimum substantive criteria described in the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and FAO Guidelines for the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products. These documents have been translated into a straightforward assessment specification by the IRF's Technical Committee and incorporated in an ISO 65 based certification programme, administered by Global Trust Certification Ltd.

Iceland Responsible Fisheries Foundation (Ábyrgar Fiskveiðar ses)

The Iceland Responsible Fisheries Foundation owns and operates the brand of Iceland Responsible Fisheries. The Foundation was established in February 2011 and took over the operation and management of the IRF certification programme from the Fisheries Association of Iceland. The foundation operates on a cost basis, as a non-profit organisation.

The Foundation's role is to make and maintain contracts for the certification programme, promote and communicate with stakeholders, etc. A technical committee of the foundation is responsible for all the technical work, specifications and certification, as well as communication with certification bodies and public bodies accordingly.

promote iceland (islandsstofa)

An agreement has been made with Promote Iceland about marketing and promotion of the IRF programme. Promote Iceland operates a seafood advisory committee that sets the aims and reviews the marketing plan of the programme on a regular basis. The committee is comprised of people from the fishing companies, processors and marketing and sales companies, as well as a person from the Ministry of Industries and Innovation.