The core of the program is an assessment process that ACF developed and implemented with a team of leading Australian marine scientists. The ACF and its Science Reference Panel had several key objectives when developing the assessment criteria and process. These were:
• independent, transparent and scientifically rigorous with quality benchmarks;
• outcomes based, time and cost effective and applicable to both wild catch and farmed seafood products;
• designed to provide for collaborative engagement with the seafood industry.
To ensure that the assessment process and decision-making of the Science Reference Panel (SRP) is independent of environment organisations, industry and government, ACF invited the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), one of Australia’s leading tertiary education providers, to host the Panel and the Program.
On the basis of his broad independent experience with Australian fisheries Dr Prince was been a founding member of the Science Reference Panel that developed the assessment framework for the ACF and began rating seafood for restaurants in 2010.