Seafood Stewardship Index

The Seafood Stewardship Index (SSI) will demonstrate how the world’s leading seafood companies contribute to the sustainable management of our oceans and coastal ecosystems, as well how they help ensure responsible social practices are implemented in all stages of the supply chain.

Why a Seafood Stewardship Index?

For centuries, our planet’s oceans, lakes, rivers and other water sources have shaped and inspired our societies and cultures. Continuing to safeguard our communities with the provision of food sources, trade recourses and income, as well as inform our adventurous and scientific intrigue. The global seafood industry provides employment to around 60 million people worldwide, and an estimated 660-880 million depend on the seafood industry for their livelihoods. However, alterations to our human and environmental systems in recent years resulting from climate change, growing populations and mounting seafood consumption per capita, are placing monumental pressures on aquatic ecosystems.

The Seafood Stewardship Index (SSI) aims to build more sustainable and inclusive seafood supply chains by assessing and benchmarking the performance of the world’s largest seafood companies regarding their contribution to the SDGs closest to their core business.

The purpose of the SSI is to clarify what seafood companies can do and what they are already doing to improve responsibility and sustainability in seafood supply chains. The SSI will provide a transparent and impartial framework by which seafood companies and their stakeholders can monitor stewardship performance. The SSI will recognise those companies that show strong performance, while holding poor performers to account. By highlighting best practices, the SSI will stimulate learning across the seafood industry and accelerate the private sector’s contributions to the SDGs.

Results will be published in two-year cycles to raise awareness, reward positive changes and build a better understanding of the role that major seafood companies play in promoting stewardship of natural resources and supply chains.


Building on extensive stakeholder dialogue and consultation, the SSI will focus on companies in the seafood industry that produce seafood and/or fish feed. Although fish feed companies do not produce seafood products, feed production impacts the sustainability of many other seafood products. Therefore, stakeholders advised to also consider feed companies in the Index. Including fish feed companies also creates a link between the international seafood market and the domestic and regional production of aquaculture.

The largest companies in the global seafood industry are well-positioned to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable seafood production system. The largest 30 companies represent a significant share of the global seafood market and often set the norm for others in the industry, due to their size and reach.

The Seafood Stewardship Index will clarify where and how companies can contribute to SDGs 1, 2, 5, 8, 12, 14 and 15 with a direct link to 27 targets. 

Development process

The SSI will be based on the development process of the WBA. Dialogue and research are a crucial part of the benchmarking development process, as they ensure the SSI and its methodology address the right themes and reflect stakeholders’ expectations for the seafood industry. Throughout this benchmark development process, continuous consultation and dialogue with stakeholders are taking place to gather input for the methodology and create awareness around the SSI. Our timeline outlines the development process of the methodology and includes the next steps and expected dates towards the publication of the SSI.


Dialogue and research (ongoing during methodology development)

Index Initiative’s landscape study: September 2015
First stakeholder roundtable in Jakarta: 13-14 December 2016
SSI feasibility study: September 2017

Methodology development and review (October 2017 – December 2018)

ERC meeting (virtual): 7 December 2017
Second stakeholder roundtable in Tokyo: 22 February 2018
Outreach event at the Seafood Expo North America in Boston: 11-13 March 2018
Outreach event at the Seafood Expo Global in Brussels: 24 & 26 April 2018
Two-day in-person ERC meeting in London: 26 & 27 June 2018
Public online consultation: October 2018 – December 2018
Publication of methodology: Q1 2019

Data collection: Q1-Q2 2019

Verification and analysis: Q2-Q3 2019

Expected publication SSI: Q4 2019


The Seafood Stewardship Index will be developed by a core team in close collaboration with a broad group of external stakeholders. We fully embrace the value of being a true multi-stakeholder initiative. Although we will be coordinating the development process, continuous engagement with external stakeholders will contribute in the development of our methodology. Our development process facilitates multiple engagement activities including a public, online consultation survey as well as at the many events we will organize and attend around the world. We would also welcome you to contact us at any other time, as your continued support and contribution is highly appreciated!

Rik Beukers
Lead Research Seafood Stewardship Index

Nathan Cable
Research Analyst

Lisanne Urlings
Lead Research

Timothée Pasqualini
Research Analyst

Aarti Misal
Research Analyst

The SSI is developed in close collaboration with an Expert Review Committee (ERC), which members support the SSI Core Team with their expertise and experience. SSI Expert Review Committee (ERC):

  • Robert Blasiak
    Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC)
  • Bertrand Charron
    Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)
  • Clarus Chu
    Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF)
  • Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly
    Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA)
  • John Garner
    Retired seafood representative
  • Abigail Herron
    Aviva Investors
  • Duncan Leadbitter
    Fish Matter
  • Blake Lee-Harwood
    Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP)
  • Oluyemisi Oloruntuyi
    Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
  • Pongsagorn Satjipanon
  • Huw Thomas
    Offshore Shellfish Ltd


From 22 October to 17 December 2018 we held an 8-week public consultation on the draft methodology for the SSI. All interested stakeholders were invited to review and share with us their feedback on this draft. This consultation was part of WBA’s continuous stakeholder engagement process and builds on earlier roundtable meetings in Jakarta (Dec 2016) and Tokyo (Feb 2018), as well as presentations and meetings with a wide range of stakeholders at seafood trade fairs and elsewhere. This resulted in a final methodology, see below.