By Ned Daly
December 20, 2023
The Certification and Ratings Collaboration recently released an updated version of its data tool, which aims to be the most comprehensive resource available offering a high-level overview of seafood’s environmental performance.
The collaboration’s members, which now include the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Fair Trade USA, Marine Stewardship Council, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® Program, the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, and Global Seafood Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices program, originally launched the tool in 2020. The most recent member of the collaboration, the Qingdao Marine Conservation Society (QMCS), is a nongovernmental organization based in and focused on China.
“The data tool allows our organizations to share a more complete picture of environmental performance than any one organization could offer on its own,” ASC CEO Chris Ninnes, who is also the chair of the collaboration’s steering committee, said in a press release.
The inclusion of QMCS data, as part of the continued expansion over the last year of programs contributing to the tool, has significantly broadened its coverage, with 49 percent of global production certified or rated by participating organizations now included. The percentage jumps up to 55 percent of global production with the inclusion of tonnage in fishery and aquaculture improvement projects.
The collaborating organizations have also developed a social data tool to compile data related to the risks associated with human rights abuses. The social tool presently includes 92 seafood-producing countries, and the data compiled indicates that 65 percent of countries assessed have documented evidence of forced labor, child labor, or human trafficking in seafood supply chains.
“There is still much more to learn about the environmental and social performance of seafood production worldwide, but the data tool’s reach makes it an invaluable resource for businesses, governments, and international bodies, as well as NGOs committed to responsible seafood production,” Ninnes said.