Benchmark Committee

GSSI's Benchmark Committees ensure an objective assessment against the Global Benchmark Tool's Framework by reviewing the Independent Experts' Benchmark Report and providing a recommendation on recognition to the Steering Board.

A Benchmark Committee is appointed by the GSSI Steering Board for each certification scheme that applies to be benchmarked. The members of the Committee are chosen based on their experience and knowledge of the seafood sector. The committee's are made up of experienced professionals (see below) and GSSI Independent Experts that have not conducted the assessment of the specific applicant scheme.

Please see the GSSI Charter and the Benchmark Tool Manual for more information eligibility criteria. Contact if you want to become a GSSI Benchmark Committee Member.


Belinda Yaxley

Dr. Belinda Yaxley, Sustainability and Accreditation Officer, PETUNA AQUACULTURE

Belinda Yaxley has a PhD in Zoology and over 15 years’ experience in natural resource management. As the Sustainability and Accreditation Officer for Petuna Aquaculture she is working with certification schemes focused on responsible farming and sustainable practices for the company and Tasmanian Salmon Industry. Belinda is passionate about the application of sustainability efforts and responsible farming practices at Petuna but also in all areas of aquaculture across the globe.


Gregg Small

Gregg Small, Adjunct Faculty, Washington State University, Food Science Innovation Center

Gregg is an Adjunct Faculty member and owner of Product Survey International a consulting firm which specializes in post harvest processing and aquaculture practices.  In these roles, Gregg acts as liaison between government authorities, aquaculture certification bodies and the US and Asian processing industries that supply the retail marketplace.  He participated in the GSSI Aquaculture Expert Working Group. Gregg earned a Master's Degree at the University of Washington in Policy Implications of Seafood Safety in the Fisheries / Oceanography College. Employment and consulting experience includes: Fisheries Management at NOAA, seafood plant audits and lot inspection for USDC the FDA Office of Seafood Policy.  He has been a consultant on various US & EU Government and FAO projects worldwide. Whenever possible he tries to use his aquaculture experience to focus on training and certification processes for feed mills, hatcheries, farms and processing plants under the various worldwide programs his seafood customers require.  The WSU has training relationships with Government and Certification Bodies to teach basic food safety techniques and updates industry on new government regulations on food safety issues.


Josanna Busby

Josanna Busby, Category Manager, Seafood, Sidecase, Frozen Meats & Seafood, FOOD LION, LLC

Josanna Busby graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Business Analysis.  A few years after graduation, she left Indiana to pursue her career in buying, which ultimately brought her to North Carolina. Josanna enjoyed an extensive career in buying, 23+ years, with the last three and half spent managing the seafood category for Delhaize America.  She has worked for different companies in various buying/category management roles including Rite Aid, Ahold and Delhaize America for the past 11 years. She enjoyed learning about the Seafood industry and is passionate about Seafood sustainability. Delhaize America has a very robust sustainability program to bring in products that meet strict sustainability and social standards.


Katy Hladki

Katy Hladki, Sustainability Manager, HIGH LINER FOODS

Katy is a marine-conservation scientist with a broad base of academic, research, and practical experience within the fields of aquaculture, fisheries, and ocean sustainability. She received her Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources and the Environment from the University of Michigan.  Upon completion, Katy obtained a Master of Arts in International Relations and Environment Policy.  Katy’s practical experience comes from her three-year position as Senior Conservation Associate, Aquaculture Specialist, at the New England Aquarium in Boston and Research and as a teaching and research assistant at the University of New Hampshire. Katy started at High Liner Foods as the Sustainability Manager in August of 2015. She is responsible for managing and supporting High Liner Foods sustainability initiatives, as well as overseeing sustainability requirements from our customers.


Lee Cocker

Lee Cocker, Aquaculture Manager, SEAFISH

As Seafish Aquaculture Manager, the domestic aquaculture sectors in the UK are Lee’s primary focus - working with key stakeholders in industry and Government to best support and facilitate a collaborative approach to the delivery of local and national growth strategies. With various post-graduate qualifications including Sustainable Aquaculture from Stirling University, Lee’s initial experience of aquaculture was on the UKs first tilapia farm. He has also worked on aquaculture projects in Africa (Madagascar and Uganda), Southeast Asia (Aquaculture Advisor for WWF Vietnam), and has been an independent consultant; writing reports on African aquaculture for NEPAD, and consumer reports for Seafood Watch.


mark boulter

Mark Boulter, Director, SAFE SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD Pty Ltd.

Mark Boulter is the director of a consultancy business offering technical advice services to seafood businesses on issues such as; food safety, QA, sustainability assessment and accreditation, traceability and other related topics. He is working with commercial seafood businesses and clients such as the Australian Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and the Seafood Importers Association of Australia. With a background in both seafood QA and sustainability, having worked as Technical Manager for the Sydney Fish Market and in the Technical Department at the Sea Fish Industry Authority in the UK, Mark is well placed to provide technical advice in these areas.


Rebecca Clarkson

Rebecca Clarkson, Environment Manager, AQUACULTURE NEW ZEALAND

Rebecca Clarkson has over 15 years’ experience in a variety of roles within the New Zealand aquaculture industry, particularly focussing on regional and central government policy and planning, advocacy, environmental management and quality programmes. Her role at Aquaculture New Zealand is currently divided between policy advice and advocacy and implementing the recently launched A+ Sustainable Management Framework for New Zealand aquaculture. Her particular areas of expertise are providing advice and advocacy on legislative and regional policy and planning matters. She also has a broad understanding of environmental certification schemes and has knowledge and experience relating to current science and research into the interactions of marine farms and their environment.


Steve Minor

Steve Minor, Managing Partner, WATERFRONT ASSOCIATES

Steve Minor has worked with Alaska’s coastal communities and the seafood industry to develop and manage world-class sustainable fisheries for more than twenty years; including business investment, business management and shore-based infrastructure development projects in the salmon, cod, halibut, crab and pollock fisheries. Steve is one of the primary authors of the Bering Sea crab rationalization program and a member of several seafood industry and science-based organizations. In the last decade his focus has shifted from “resource access” issues to “market access” initiatives for a variety of clients; including shellfish and groundfish businesses and Native Alaska communities. This work has included efforts to eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (“IUU”) fishing.