Under the banner of sustainability: The politics and prose of an emerging US federal seafood certification
Growing interest in sustainable seafood has led to the proliferation of third-party certifications and eco-labels. This paper examines the ongoing debate that has surrounded a potential government-operated certification program for federally managed fisheries in the United States. Drawing on an analysis of transcripts from the Marine Fishery Advisory Committee meetings between 2007 and 2014, the paper considers the ways the proposed program was justified and how the multi-year discussion led to recommendations that encourage the National Marine Fisheries Service to create a framework for a certification program based on the principles defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. It is through this discussion that it becomes apparent that sustainability claims extend beyond the scientific domain, making them fruitful grounds for understanding the emergence of policy and how power and legitimacy are negotiated and maintained through the process.