See 2021 Seafood Stewardship Index

Leading practices

Ecosystems | Leading practices from the 2021 Seafood Stewardship Index


This measurement area focuses on what seafood companies are doing to avoid, reduce and/or mitigate negative ecosystem impacts in a number of key areas of fishing, aquaculture and aquaculture feed production. Fishing and aquaculture have an impact on marine ecosystems, while the use of feed in aquaculture can also impact terrestrial ecosystems. The leading companies in the seafood industry have a dominant position in the supply chains of some of most consumed seafood products, such as tuna, salmon or shrimp, and therefore are well positioned to ensure that ecosystem impacts of these products are carefully addressed.

Commitment to sustainable fisheries and aquaculture

With SDG 14 in mind, specifically the targets focused on sustainably managing and protecting marine and coastal ecosystems (14.2), regulating harvesting and ending overfishing (14.4), it is evident that companies must set time-bound targets to achieve a sustainable supply of seafood.

Sustainable target fish stocks

Seafood companies involved in fishing or sourcing from wild fish stocks show stewardship by sourcing from stocks that are well managed and/or conducting fishing activities that do not lead to overfishing and ensure the long-term sustainability of fish resources. In the case of overfished stocks, companies can help restore and rebuild fish stocks in the shortest time feasible through improved and effective harvesting regulations and improved catch methods.

Protection of terrestrial natural ecosystems

In the global aquaculture industry, soya and palm oil are key ingredients in aquaculture feed production. Seafood companies can work towards achieving conversion-free operations through the sustainable use of soya and palm oil in aquaculture feed production.

Antibiotics use and growth promoting substances

Antibiotic use is prevalent in the global food and agriculture sector, with the aquaculture industry as one of the most important users of antibiotics. Excessive use of antibiotics in human and animal health poses the risk of anti-microbial resistance (AMR), which is considered as one of the most significant public health threats.

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