Eco-certification & Seafood Watch

Choices for healthy oceans

Since 1999, Monterey Bay Aquarium's team of Seafood Watch scientists has been assessing wild-caught and farmed seafood to find the most ocean-friendly seafood options available in the U.S. market. During this time, the number of eco-certification programs for seafood has grown, and we're often asked which we recommend.

Eco-certification benchmarking study

We strongly support the concept of independent eco-certification programs and want to identify which standards match up against PDFour own sustainability criteria, so that in the future we can defer to these standards without undertaking an independent assessment.

In 2012, we started a comprehensive study of 10 eco-certification programs to determine which of these have standards equivalent—at a minimum—to our yellow, or "Good Alternative" rating.

PDFLearn more about the study

Which eco-labels did seafood watch find equivalent?

As a result of this study, we can now recommend that seafood buyers look for the eco-certified seafood products shown below, in addition to choosing from our "Best Choice" and "Good Alternatives" lists.

Seafood
Eco-Certification Program
Seafood Watch Report

Farmed catfish
(pangasius)

Farmed catfish (pangasius)
ASC Certified PDFASC farmed pangasius

Farmed freshwater fish and carp

Farmed freshwater fish and carp
Natureland PDFNaturland farmed freshwater fishes PDFNaturland farmed carp

Farmed geoduck
(giant clam)

Farmed geoduck (giant clam)
Canada Organic PDFCanada Organic farmed shellfish

Farmed mussels

Farmed Mussels
ASC Certified Natureland Friend of the Sea Canada Organic The Global Aquaculture Alliance PDFASC farmed bivalves PDFNaturland farmed mussels PDFCanada Organic farmed shellfish PDFFriend of the Sea farmed mussels PDFGAA BAP farmed mussels

Farmed oysters and clams

Farmed oysters and clams
ASC Certified Canada Organic PDFASC farmed bivalves PDFCanada Organic farmed shellfish

Farmed scallops

Farmed scallops
ASC Certified Canada Organic PDFASC farmed bivalves PDFCanada Organic farmed shellfish

Farmed shrimp

Farmed shrimp
ASC Certified Natureland The Global Aquaculture Alliance PDFASC farmed shrimp PDFNaturland farmed shrimp PDFGAA BAP 2-star farmed shrimp PDFGAA BAP 4-star farmed shrimp

Wild-caught seafood
(from salmon to shrimp, cod to clams)

Wild-caught seafood
MSC Certified PDFMarine Stewardship Council