Seafood Watch supports robust, independent eco-certification seafood programs. We recognize eco-certification standards that contain requirements equivalent to Seafood Watch fisheries or aquaculture standards. The benchmarks are distinct from our ratings—they reflect scientific agreement between two standards, rather than rating ecological performance. Published benchmarks only include standards with thresholds equivalent to our yellow, Good Alternative rating or better and can be found under the "Eco-Certifications" tab on individual recommendation pages.
Step 1: Mapping Standards
In the first step of the benchmarking process, eco-certification standards are mapped to Seafood Watch standards to ensure a true comparison can be made. Benchmarks only include eco-certification standard criteria for which there is a relevant Seafood Watch standard criterion. We do not have a standard to assess the process of certification (e.g., accreditation requirements, inspection requirements, the use of variances, etc.) and thus, the benchmark does not assess the certification process. For this, please consult ISEAL or the Global Seafood Sustainability Initiative.
Step 2: Assessing Standards
In the second step of the benchmarking process, the realistic worst case fishery or farm that could be certified to each standard is assessed via the Seafood Watch criteria. If the realistic worst case fishery or farm qualifies for at least a Seafood Watch yellow, Good Alternative rating, the standard is deemed equivalent and we would be confident recommending most of their certified fisheries or farms as procurement options for our audiences.