Priority Commodity Surimi; Request for Proposals

The Seafood Certification and Ratings Collaboration is exploring how its members can better support the environmental sustainability and social responsibility in fisheries used for the production of surimi raw material and surimi seafood.

There are sustainable sources of surimi available from species including Alaska pollock, pacific whiting and cod. However, over half of global surimi production (510,000 mt) comes from India and Southeast Asia, where key species like threadfin bream have witnessed a decline in production as a result of ineffective management.

More can be done to raise awareness about these issues through engagement with the supply chain, and by working with local stakeholders to incentivise improvements. Through this project, the Collaboration aims to get a better understanding of how and where surimi is caught and its journey through the supply chain, identify key environmental and social challenges, and develop strategies to address these challenges to enable a more sustainable surimi production system.

Scope of Work & Deliverables

The Collaboration is seeking a contractor carry out a ‘landscape review’ of surimi, that collects industry, institutional and anecdotal knowledge that includes:

1. Production and Environmental Performance

  • An overview of what species are fished or farmed, globally, for use in surimi raw material.
  • A description of the fisheries, including gear types and locations catching species for surimi base.
  • An analysis of catch composition - key species and volume caught, differentiating between fisheries that are either driven by single-species (or low mix fisheries) with a focus on surimi production, and multi-species fisheries that have high volumes of fish used surimi grade product as one component of the fishery.
  • The relationship of these fisheries with fishmeal production.
  • An overview of the environmental and social performance of fisheries by region (i.e. which if any are certified/ rated, or in a Fishery Improvement Project), and insight on the likelihood of success across environmental and social indicators for mapped fisheries on a short/mid/long term timeframe.

2. Leverage

  • What is the majority of the fishery catch likely to be used for (e.g. Surimi, agricultural feed, aquaculture feed etc.)?
  • Information on product specification- for instance, to what degree is there ‘mixing’ of temperate and tropical surimi species in the production of surimi raw material or surimi seafood?
  • Information on market demand; what are the key markets for these fisheries and, with input from the working group– to what degree does the Collaboration have leverage in these markets?
  • Trade flow data as available.

3. Key Challenges

  • What are the key environmental and social performance challenges around surimi production, and who is working to address them. Focussing on markets where the Collaboration has most leverage, provide insight on:
  • Change feasibility considerations ; can we apply the theory of change of the various programs under the current fishery and regulatory frameworks?
  • Likely economics and timelines of implementing change.
  • Ethics of a transition towards a more sustainable outcome. Is the social impact too high at this stage in justifying a transition?
How the analysis will be used

From this analysis, the Collaboration will work with others to establish which fisheries to engage with to help incentivise improvements, based on;

  • What species composition fits with a certification or rating assessment programme.
  • Where we already have a regional presence and relationships with local governance.
  • Where certification or ratings have market leverage, regionally and by sector (e.g. food service).
Selection Criteria

The successful candidate will be either an agency with the following minimum experience:

  • Strong writing, organisational and analysis skills;
  • Working knowledge of seafood production and supply chains
  • Working knowledge of surimi supply chains and production
  • A good understanding of the regulatory environment.
Application Instructions

Agencies or qualified individuals should submit proposals to Jackie Ireland at

Tenderers should set out how they plan to meet the task required, the resources they would commit to the task, the length of time required to do the work, the personnel they would make available and the financial charge they would make.

Applications should also include a statement of expertise and resumes of key staff.

Proposals to be submitted by 1 June 2020.