Food Water benchmark scores FoS best among fisheries and aquaculture certifications

One more independent benchmark of fisheries and aquaculture eco certification programs has concluded that Friend of the Sea scores best when compared to other programs.

Food & Water Europe (FWE) NGO, in its « Decoding Seafood Eco-labels » paper, assessed fishery certification programs such as Friend of the Sea and MSC. FWE identifies only 4 concerns regarding Friend of the Sea standards compared to 8 concerns regarding MSC. FWE is particularly concerned about MSC’s prohibitive costs, lack of carbon food print standards, and free-rider problem.

The ‘Free rider’ problem is explained by Food & Water as follows. « The fishery is given conditions for improvement, but unfortunately, this means that a fishery with significant flaws may still carry the MSC logo, indicating sustainability, before it has achieved any improvements. This creates what is known as the “free-rider” problem, in which fisheries that are flawed, yet certified, get to ride on the reputation of the more sustainable certified fisheries. Worse still, it risks seriously misleading consumers who may refer to the full standards and assume that certified products comply completely with all of them ».

When comparing Friend of the Sea to other aquaculture certification programs, the superiority is even more striking as FOS beats all others. Food & Water Europe has identified 4 concerns for Friend of the Sea and 8 for Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), 5 for ASC (with other 4 pending as they still have To Be Defined) and 5 for Freedom Food. The study highlights the differences between FOS and the other mentioned programs: prohibitive costs (BAP); no prohibition of GMOs (BAP); no prohibition of use of hormones (BAP and ASC); certification of farms with negative impact on mangrove ecosystems (BAP); no carbon footprint standards (BAP and ASC); free rider problem (ASC); insufficient workers safety (BAP).

Friend of the Sea has recently been assessed and benchmarked against other alternative eco-certification programs for fisheries and aquaculture.  All recent independent benchmarks have concluded that Friend of the Sea scores top or among top certification programs.

« The result of this new benchmark shows Friend of the Sea is the most reliable eco-label for seafood and the only one affordable for small scale producers of both farmed and wild-caught products » comments Dr Bray, founder and director of Friend of the Sea.

To download the benchmark, click here.

For more info:
Food & Water Watch – « Decoding Seafood Eco-labels »

Friend of the Sea

Food & Water Europe
Food & Water Europe is the European program of Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit consumer organization based in the United States, that works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable.

Friend of the Sea
Friend of the Sea is an international non-profit certification scheme for products from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Certified products are fished from not overexploited nor IUCN Redlisted stocks and with selective methods which do not impact the seabed. Those originate from aquaculture are reared with respect of critical habitat, with no use of antifoulants, GMOS and growth hormones.