GSSI was created as a sector wide, multi-stakeholder initiative to build a shared, global and non-competitive solution to sustainability certification issues in the global seafood supply chain. GSSI was originally founded in February 2013 as a strategic partnership between the GSSI Consortium GbR and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It was implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-funded through its develoPPP.de program. On 4 September 2015, Stichting Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) was incorporated as a foundation under the laws of the Netherlands.  

Today, GSSI is a global, Public-Private Partnership between leading companies (representing the entire seafood value chain) NGOs, and governmental and inter-governmental organizations including the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). GSSI ensures confidence in the supply and promotion of certified seafood, as well as promotes improvement in seafood certification schemes. Furthermore, GSSI collaborates with industry partners to develop solutions to address pressing issues facing the seafood sector including, social compliance and Illegal, unreported and unregulatedfishing (IUU). 

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