The G.U.L.F. RFM Certification Documents

GULF COVID-19 Policy

Health risks and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 are impacting the ability to conduct on-site audits for the foreseeable future (at a minimum of 6-12 months). In response to this, GULF, in alignment with GSSI , has set forth a policy regarding the Responsible Fisheries Certification Scheme and COVID-19 to ensure the greatest possible level of assurance under these extraordinary circumstances. Read the full policy here.

The Standard

The primary document outlining the principles for the G.U.L.F. RFM Certification is the Standard. The Standard is derived from the FAO Ecolabeling Guidelines and the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. These documents, which were created by the United Nations in 2005 (revised 2009, 2011) and in 1995 respectively, are the backbone of nearly all sustainability benchmarking programs, and are internationally recognized as foundation documents outlining best practices in fishery management.

G.U.L.F. RFM Standard Version 1.2

G.U.L.F. RFM Standard Version 1.1

Guidance to Assessment

The objective of the Guidance to Assessment document is to provide guidance for assessment teams in the evaluation of applicant fisheries to the G.U.L.F. RFM Certification. This document sets out the specific performance levels for each clause of the Standard that must be acheived to demonstrate certification status. This document includes an explanation of scoring criteria, evaluation parameters, and specific guidance to each clause of the Standard.

G.U.L.F. RFM Guidance to Assessment Version 1.3

G.U.L.F. RFM Guidance to Assessment Version 1.2

G.U.L.F. RFM Guidance to Assessment Version 1.1

Chain of Custody Standard

The G.U.L.F. Chain of Custody Standard sets out the requirements for Chain of Custody certification. Certification to the requirements defined in this Standard will demonstrate a commitment to customers and consumers that product originates from a certified Gulf of Mexico fishery.

G.U.L.F. Chain of Custody Standard Version 1.1

Certification Requirements

The Certification Requirements document sets out the requirements and conditions that Certification Bodies (CBs) must meet in order to operate an approved certification system for the independent evaluation of a fishery to the G.U.L.F. RFM Certification or an applicant to the Chain of Custody Standard. These documents set out requirements in the following areas: accreditation requirements, competency requirements, and procedural requirements. CBs must be ISO 17065 accredited.

G.U.L.F. RFM Certification Requirements Version 1.2

G.U.L.F. RFM Certification Requirements Version 1.1

G.U.L.F. Chain of Custody Certification Requirements Version 1.1


The G.U.L.F. RFM Scheme Operations Manual contains all other procedures and requirements for the operation of the Certification Program, including standard setting and maintenance, document control, scheme performance monitoring and review, managing stakeholder input, and operational structure of the program.

•  Standard Setting

•  Managing Stakeholder Input 

•  Complaints and Appeals

•  Scheme Performance Monitoring and Internal Review

•  Certification Body Performance Review

•  Document Control

•  Certification Claims and Rules for Use

For Inquiries

For all inquiries regarding the G.U.L.F. RFM Certification Program, please contact John Fallon at

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