Assessing companies’ impacts on the health of the ocean

Beyond the seafood industry

The ocean holds 80% of the world’s biodiversity and a healthy ocean is essential for life on Earth by playing a key role in climate regulation and food provision. The seafood industry as well as other sectors such as shipping, apparel and agriculture play a key role in restoring ocean health.

To research the impacts of the seafood sector, the World Benchmarking Alliance published various iterations of the Seafood Stewardship Index, launched for the first time in 2019 and concluding with the last one in 2023.

The Seafood Stewardship Index assessed and ranked the 30 most influential end-to-mid-chain companies in the sector (such as aquaculture and fishing companies, aquafeed companies as well brands and processors) on governance, environmental and social topics. You can find the latest results here, and the 2023 Insights Report here.

The results of the 2022 and 2023 Nature Benchmark show that action on marine biodiversity loss are lagging behind action on land and freshwater. When taking a broader look at the private sector (especially those not directly active in the ocean), some companies in other sectors (shipping, apparel agriculture) do not seem to pay enough attention to their impact on marine ecosystems.

For this reason, WBA will expand its research scope from the Seafood Stewardship Index to a wider assessment to measure the private sector’s impact on the health of the ocean, for example:

  • Through the Food and Agriculture Benchmark, WBA will expand the scope of companies that are assessed on key seafood topics by looking at both downstream and upstream companies in seafood supply chains. This aligns with the whole value chain approach already used by the Food and Agriculture Benchmark.
  • As part of the Nature Benchmark, WBA will assess at least 100 companies in various key sectors (including seafood) on their contribution to halt and reverse nature loss in marine ecosystems.

Both assessments are expected to be released in the first quarter of 2026. Based on those, WBA will continue to engage companies and stakeholders to guide and drive efforts to improve the private sector’s contribution to food system and ocean sustainability.

To learn more about our future ocean assessments, or to collaborate with us on this topic, please get in touch with us at

Newsletter signup