The Seafood Watch standards consist of guiding principles, science-based criteria and a robust scoring methodology. We regularly update them with the help of fisheries and aquaculture experts to ensure they incorporate the latest science and understanding of sustainability. They play a critical role in helping us create an assessment of a fishery or aquaculture operation, which in turn shapes our seafood recommendations.
How Do Standards Help with Developing Seafood Watch Recommendations?
About Our Standards
We periodically revise our standards to ensure we take into account new developments, their impacts and what can be done to mitigate those impacts. On October 4, 2016 our Multi-Stakeholder Group approved the 2016 Standard for Salmonid Fisheries, as well as revisions to our 2016 Standard for Fisheries and 2016 Standard for Aquaculture.
Seafood Watch Standards for Fisheries
Our Assessment Process
Our assessments are conducted using a rigorous, science-based process to ensure recommendations are based on the most relevant, up-to-date publicly available data and information. The entire process, including writing, internal reviews and external reviews, is conducted using our Seafood Watch Assessment Tool. Learn more about the Seafood Watch Assessment Tool
External Assessment Program
The External Assessment Program (EAP) enables third parties to utilize the Seafood Watch standards, research process and protocols, and approved trained contractors to assess fisheries or aquaculture operations of interest that have not, and will not, be assessed by Seafood Watch. Seafood Watch External Assessment Program (PDF)
We strongly support the concept of independent eco-certification programs for seafood. In 2012, we completed a comprehensive study of 10 eco-certification programs to determine if any had standards equivalent to our own sustainability criteria. Learn more about Eco-Certifications
Fishery Improvement Projects
Some Seafood Watch red "Avoid" listed seafood comes from fisheries that are working hard to make improvements. There are many ways to address a fishery's environmental or management problems, and one such method is known as a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP). The purpose of this document is to provide businesses with guidance around purchasing and selling seafood from fisheries engaged in FIPs. Learn more about Seafood Watch's position on Fishery Improvement Projects (PDF)