Seafood Ecology Research Group study confirms FoS is the best international multispecies standard for sustainable aquaculture

Friend of the Sea Absolute Performance Score, according to the study, was better than all major sustainable aquaculture schemes operating at international level: Global GAP, Global Aquaculture Alliance, AquaGAP and also better than some bio standards (Bio Suisse, Australia Certified Organic) and retailer standards (Whole Foods Market and Marks & Spencer). The study also concluded that Friend of the Sea’s standards are driving more change than Naturland, BioSuisse, GAA, Label Rouge and Marks & Spencer. When all standards where compared according to their requirements for salmon aquaculture, Friend of the Sea scored second only to the bio Soil Association standard. 


Dr Paolo Bray, director of Friend of the Sea explains: “Some Bio standards are more restrictive on animal welfare and nutritional aspects but as a consequence they might increase environmental impact and prevent acheivement of sustainability.  While it is clear that ‘Bio’ is not a valid alternative to ‘sustainability’, we are proud that our standard has often scored better than most of the major Bio standards. In particular salmon standards, according to this study, perform even better than Naturland. This is one more evidence of the reliability of Friend of the Sea standards. The international aquaculture industry has already appreciated the important added value provided by FOS certification as we have certified almost five times the amount of aquaculture production certified by all the bio standards worldwide.”


The study was released by the University of Victoria Seafood Ecology Research Group and it assessed 20 aquaculture certification standards. Only 18 of them have actually already been used during audits (the US National Organic Standard and SAD – Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue are only drafts proposal at the time of the study) and some of them are only specific for one species or implemented only at a single nation level. The final report – “How Green is Your Ecolabel. Comparing the environmental benefits of marine aquaculture standards” uses a well-established methodology, refined by the 2010 Global Aquaculture Performance Index (GAPI), to determine numerical scores of environmental performance. This study acts as a kind of Michelin guide for standards. The long-term objective is to help stakeholders — seafood buyers, fish farmers, standard setters, and policy makers — understand how standards as a whole are contributing to the ultimate goal of a more sustainable marine aquaculture industry.

For more information:

Global Aquaculture Performance Index

Friend of the Sea
Skype: friend.of.the.sea
Tel: +39.3485650306