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Fishing vessel audits from SGS – demonstrate your commitment to socially responsible fishing practices and protect your brand reputation.

parked blue boats beside dock

Illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing has been directly linked to health and safety violations, forced labor and inhumane treatment of fishers. However, it has been difficult to control because:

  • Fishing vessels that are operating under flag countries that are not party to International Labor Organization (ILO), International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) conventions can transship seafood at sea
  • Fishers often do not have a mechanism for reporting abusive labor practices
  • Governments do not always have the funding to enforce existing regulations on forced labor

The lack of monitoring and enforcement of local and international conventions and regulations, including those against IUU fishing, contributes to the exploitation of workers in the fishing sector and hinders conservation goals by depleting fish stocks.

As consumers become increasingly concerned about the human rights of laborers – including the problem of fishing slavery – as well as the reduction of fish populations, they are beginning to demand traceable, sustainable seafood. They want to know that the seafood brands they purchase are socially responsible and source from suppliers that engage in ethical fishing practices.

Fishing vessel audits from SGS can help you protect your brand reputation by demonstrating your commitment to sustainable sourcing. Whether you operate a single vessel or a fleet, we can help you measure your wild caught supply chain’s performance against internationally recognized standards.

Why choose fishing vessel audits from SGS?

We can help your business and supply chains to take constructive action by substantiating ethical sourcing and sustainable fishing vessel practices.

Our skilled Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA) auditors and project managers will:

  • Help you gather the data needed to measure your supply chain’s performance against international laws and conventions that address life at sea – the critical processes, procedures and behaviors that impact the health and welfare of fishers and seafood
  • Assist you in the entire process, from organizing and investigating through planning and reporting
  • Report the results of your audit so you can initiate remedial and preventive actions and share key performance indicators (KPIs) with external stakeholders
  • Take timely action to support long term improvements to your vessel or fleet
Example Three Year Audit Program
Application Process Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
  • Client inquiry
  • Application for vessel/fleet
  • Operational plan
  • Audit plan
  • Random vessel selection years 1-3
  • Initial full audit including vessel office
  • Onboard audit
  • Document review
  • Interviews
  • Reporting
  • Corrective action
  • Surveillance report
  • Onboard audit
  • Document review
  • Interviews
  • Reporting
  • Corrective action
  • Full audit
  • Onboard audit
  • Document review
  • Interviews
  • Reporting
  • Corrective action

Key elements of our audits include:

  • Child/young labor
  • Forced labor
  • Fisher's work agreement
  • Health and safety
  • Recruitment fees
  • Discrimination
  • Disciplinary practices
  • Working hours
  • Wages and compensation
  • Crew awareness and training
  • Retention of documents
  • Care of the catch
  • Transshipment

A Leading Provider of Services for the Seafood Sector

As a leading partner to the seafood sector, SGS ensures seafood safety, quality, traceability and sustainability. Our solutions for private label retail, food service and vessel owners include fishing vessel audits, catch inspections, chain of custody certification, data management and capacity building. With one of the largest global networks of APSCA registered social compliance auditors, we are the leading choice for second and third party assessments of fishing vessels against ILO, FAO and IMO guidance and conventions.

Contact your local SGS office to learn more about solutions for your country, supply chain and scope of operation.