Assessment criteria: BAP Standards available online – development coordinated by the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA).
About the label: The BAP program uses stars to denote how much of the aquaculture production chain is sustainable. Please have a look here at the star denotations.
Verification: BAP certified products have been assessed by an independent third party.
Product examples: Look out for BAP barramundi, shrimp, catfish, tilapia, pangasius, carp, salmon, trout, mussels, clams, oysters and scallops, among others.
Labelling standards: Compliant to FAO Guidelines Aquaculture Certification and the Global Food Safety Initiative.
Assessment criteria: The MSC Fisheries Standard, available online.
About the label: Although you may see the MSC label on seafood products in the supermarket, you are currently less likely to see it on restaurant menus. This is because while a restaurant may serve MSC certified seafood, it cannot display the logo unless the restaurant itself has been certified (chain of custody). In Hong Kong for example, the Shangri-La Hotels have chain of custody certification and thus can display the logo on their menus indicating there is full traceability from source to plate.
Verification: MSC certified products have been assessed by an independent third party.
Product examples: Watch out for a wide range of MSC certified seafood.
Labelling standards: Follows best practice labelling requirements set by both the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation and the ISEAL Alliance (International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling).
Assessment criteria: Standards of the Naturland Association
Verification: Producers and processors alike are subject to annual inspections by qualified inspection bodies. Naturland mandates inspection bodies to perform regular inspections of farmers and processors at least once every year
Product examples: Organic aquaculture shrimps and mussels, sustainable herring capture fishery
Labelling standards: Naturland is one of the major global certification organisations for organic agricultural produce. It is inspected once a year by neutral, qualified organisations, such as as the International Organic Accreditation Service (IOAS) to verify that the certification was performed according to the defined norms of ISO/IEC 17065.
Assessment criteria: The ASC Standard, available online.
About the label: Although you may see the ASC label on seafood products in a supermarket, you are less likely to see it on restaurant menus. This is because a restaurant may serve ASC certified seafood, but cannot display the logo unless the restaurant itself has been certified.
Verification: ASC certified products have been assessed by an independent third party.
Product examples: Watch out for ASC certified tilapia, pangasius, abalone, clams, mussels, oysters, scallops, salmon, shrimp, and serial/cobia, among others.
Labelling standards: Meets the requirements set by the ISEAL Alliance and United Nations ILO (International Labour Organisation) regulations.
Assessment criteria:Friend of the Sea sustainable fishery and aquaculture criteria available online.
About the label: This is the only scheme currently that can certify both wild-caught and farmed products, so the label will appear on both types.
Verification: FOS certified products have been assessed by an independent third party.
Product examples: Look out for FOS mussels, grouper and toothfish among others.
Labelling standards: Follows FAO Guidelines
Assessment criteria: M&S aims to make sure the fish they sell is either certified as sustainable, part of a Fishery Improvement Project or is working closely with WWF to make improvements.
About the label: You will often find this label on frozen products as well as on M&S ready meals and Food To Go
Verification: As this is a self-declared label, no third-party verifies the assessment. However, M&S indicates that they work closely with WWF and the Marine Conservation Society.
Product examples: Look out for cod, haddock, lobster, crab and prawns, among others.
Labelling standards: Unknown
i) responsible and ethical sourcing of its fish supply, working alongside national and international bodies to implement practical solutions; and
ii) continually improving and developing sustainable fishing practices.
From December 2015, John West Australia has moved its entire range of skipjack tuna to become Marine Stewardship Council Certified (MSC). The company is also committed to increasing the responsibly sourced aquaculture seafood it supplies and sells and has a preference for purchasing ASC certified seafood.
(Note – John West Australia is independent of John West (EU), a company that has been hit by sustainability scandals associated with its seafood supply chain).
Assessment criteria: Where MSC/ASC products that meet John West Australia’s product specifications are not available, the company use:
i) Responsibly sourced seafood products as advised by WWF Australia, or
ii) Seafood products sourced from a fishery, or
iii) Aquaculture operation undergoing an improvement project recognised by WWF Australia
About the label: The label is the signature of John West Australia’s sustainability programme based on an alliance between MSC and WWF. Its product labels, however, provide information to enable consumers to trace its salmon and tuna products from catch to can – including species, where it comes from, and how it was caught. You can also see the journey of the fish by entering the code on your can at TraceYourFish.com.au
Verification: Self declaration
Product examples: Canned tuna and salmon
Assessment criteria: Iglo Sustainable Fisheries Policy requires that all fisheries meet internationally agreed principles of Responsible Fisheries Management including FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, have full traceability in place to demonstrate the provenance of our fish which are then verified with independent assessments. Iglo use the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for independent assessment and is now the largest adopter of the MSC standard across Europe.
About the label: Birdseye is one of the company’s core brands and so you may see this logo with the MSC logo on many birdseye products. The Forever Food Together Fish Provenance Site also helps you learn more about the geography of our oceans and the provenance of fish products. In order to discover where your fish comes from, enter the Provenance Code on the Birdseye website. You will find the code on the side of the packaging, next to the best before date.
Verification: Second Party
Product examples: Birdseye fish fingers and wide range of battered bread crumbed fish fillets
Labelling standards: Sustainable seafood coalition
Assessment criteria: PRR’s ‘sustainability plus’ accreditation is based on full traceability, available online via its product bar code (see below).
About the label: The Sustainable seafood label includes a 12 digit barcode that can be entered into PRR’s website to provide the consumer with full traceability, including catch method, species, area caught, place of origin (certificate of origin and health certificate), country of production, production factory.
Product examples: Look out for Alaskan Pacific cod, Canadian lobster, yellow fin sole, Icelandic mackerel and more (all frozen).
Labelling standards: Follows internally set standards as used by other certification schemes, such as those listed on this website.
Assessment criteria: Seafood products sold by Young’s must either be:
i) low risk, that is from fisheries or fish farms with credible and independent certifications such as MSC, or
ii) medium risk (or in extreme cases high risk), that have been through the in-house assessment and where Young’s believes it can improve the sustainability operations.
Verification: As this is a self-declared label, no third-party verifies the assessment. However, Young’s indicates that it does work closely with a number of entities including government, NGOs and academic institutions.
Product examples: A full range of Young’s seafood can be found here.
Labelling standards: Follows the Sustainable Seafood Coalition Code
You may also come across the following labels, however we were unable to determine the criteria against which the products are judged to be sustainable.