MarinTrust is aware of the existence of a wide variety of other fishery and factory Standards and Benchmark Tools. Our recognition procedure, applicable as of 1st May 2024, outlines the process by which equivalence can be determined to reduce unnecessary duplication.  

By enabling the recognition of Benchmark Tools, as well as other Standards, MarinTrust aims to:

  • reduce unnecessary assessment and/or audit duplication
  • reduce the audit duration for certificate holders and applicants
  • reduce cost for certificate holders and applicants
  • increase market access for marine ingredients
  • ultimately, this increases the availability of responsibly sourced and produced marine ingredients

The methodology to assess equivalence is based on equivalence with its own requirements, and alignment with ISO / IEC 17065. This ensures the 'assurance' behind the Standard / Benchmark Tool is also assessed, not just the criteria. Following these requirements and guidelines safeguards the credibility, integrity, and robustness of the MarinTrust Programme and protects stakeholders.

To establish this procedure, MarinTrust also collaborated with the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI), a pre-competitive partnership offering a Benchmark Tool for certified seafood.


MarinTrust outlines the process and methodology to be implemented for Standard / Benchmark Tool requirements to be recognised. 

Key stages of the process include:

  • Stage 1 - Initiation of recognition of equivalence process by either MarinTrust or other stakeholders, including Standard and Benchmark Tool Owners
  • Stage 2 - Self-assessment by Standard / Benchmark Tool Owner. Once submitted to MarinTrust, a third-party review will offer recommendation to MarinTrust.
  • Stage 3 - Third-party equivalency assessment by Standard / Benchmark tool owner. Feedback by the owner is reviewed again by a third-party and a recommendation provided to MarinTrust.
  • Stage 4 - Process of peer review within Governance, and recognition decision by the Governing Body Committee (GBC). If successful, update of documentation and MarinTrust website.

Maintaining the equivalence status over time

Following successful recognition, Standard / Benchmark Tool owners will be required to maintain the equivalence status through a process of periodic review.

Programmes/Standards currently recognised

Four Standards are formally recognised under the MarinTrust Programme:

  • Programa de Aseguramiento de la Calidad (Chilean PAC)
  • Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Fisheries Standard (Version 2.1, 2018)
  • GMP+ B2 Production of Feed Ingredients Standard
  • Feed Materials Assurance Scheme (FEMAS) Version 2.1

Note: These Standards are currently recognised under MarinTrust Standard Version 2.

Read our transition guidance for further details and reach out to us if you have any questions ([email protected]).

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