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Stakeholders can be involved in Friend of the Sea in three ways
1) Stakeholders can request to be part of the Technical Committee - the independent body proposing and voting changes to the standards.
2) Stakeholders can provide their input to the audits by filing comments and/or objections.
3) Stakeholders can file complaints regarding Friend of the Sea's Governance.
1) Technical Committee
The Technical Committee (TC) is a technical body operating in total independence from Friend of the Sea. 

Friend of the Sea staff can participate to the TC.

Stakeholders interested in becoming members of the TC can apply via the Friend of the Sea website and by sending their own CV to

Members of the TC can at any time propose changes to the current requirements composing the FOS checklists. Proposals have to be sent by email from the member of the TC and must include:
- the number of the requirement for which change is proposed
- the new wording of the requirement
- the reason for the proposed change
- scientific and technical evidence in support of the proposed change.

The proposed change is filed by means of an email from FOS’s Technical and Scientific Director to all the members of the TC.
60 days from submission are allowed for comments. 30 days for final voting and additional comments are allowed immediately after the first round. Changes are approved if they meet the majority of the votes and if in line with the FAO Guidelines. The Advisory Board can express its opinion. The Board of Directors confirms the acceptance of the changes.
All comments received during the public comment period are made publically available without attribution or identifier. A summary of how comments were addressed is made publicly available as well and sendt to everyone who submitted comments.
All Stakeholder, even if not member of the TC, can submit comments on the standard at any time. All comments and standards are considered in subsequent revision process. Comments must be sent to by filling in this Form.
Stakeholders can request all records related Standard Setting or file procedural complaints by email to . Unsolved procedural complaints are assessed during the yearly revue.
Work Program Standard Setting Updated 17/02/2017

2) Audit Comments and / or Objections
Anyone interested in providing her/his input and knowledge on fisheries or farming sites under assessment, is allowed and invited to contribute to audits.

Individuals, companies  and organizations can register as stakeholders, by sending an email to, including a CV, inputs and comments, within the deadline for submission specified on the News area under Planned and Ongoing Audits.

Please provide official scientific evidence in support of your statements and conclusions. Comments or inputs which are not supported by scientific or proved evidence cannot be taken into consideration by the Certification Body. Stakeholders have to indicate which requirements they believe are not complied with.

The Certification Body will have to provide public answer to any objection to certification. Certification Body answers will be published in the final Audit Report and could lead to failure to certify.

Only objections received within 15 days after publication of preliminary audit report will be handled.

If you simply wish to be updated on new fisheries or farm sites under assessment, please contact us at

Stakeholders are an important part of the Friend of the Sea project. In order to ensure adequate involvement, the following procedure is applied:

1) At least 15 days before the audit starts, a notification of a fishery assessment will be inserted into the section News of the Friend of the Sea website. During this period of consultation, stakeholders can file their comments and objections.

2) Only comments based on scientific evidence are taken into consideration by the Certification Body.

3) Stakeholders can raise objections within 15 days from publication of the audit report on Friend of the Sea's website.

4) In case no objection is raised within the given time, products are certified as Friend of the Sea for 3 years, subject to periodical surveillance audits.

Revision proposal procedure

Form for revision proposal submission


3) Governance Complaints

Stakeholders can file complaints regarding the Friend of the Sea's Governance.  Complaint Form (CF) is available online with clear instruction on submittal procedure.

The CF has to be downloaded and filled in in all its parts, providing information about:
- Name, Surname, Role, Company (if applicable) of complaining party
- Name, Surname, Role of the executive, manager, Advisory Board Member ragarding whom the complaint is raised.
- Motivation in support to the complaint
- Evidence

The CF is considered by the Advisory Board, which will have to express its opinion within 15 days, to the Board of Directors, which will undertake a final decision based on majority vote.

A Certification Body will express its opinion, during its yearly surveillance audit, on the validity of the complaint, vis a vis FOS’s procedures and policies. IF contrary to the BoD’s decision, the BoD will rediscuss and vote a second time.

Complaints Procedure

Complaint Form

Previous or Pending Complaints

Participation Procedure

Participation Form

Previous or Pending Inputs


Certified Products

Friend of the Sea - Buenos Aires 45, 20124 Milan Italy - HQ +39 0287075166 - Italy +39 3485650306 - Skype: friend.of.the.sea - Elastico Comunicazione