Sector Improvement Profiles:

Farmed Salmon | Shrimp | Small Pelagics | Squid & Octopus | Tuna | Whitefish | Wild Crab | Wild Snapper & Grouper

These printable PDF Sector Improvement Profile documents provide detailed information about seafood prioritized for improvement by Collaboration member organizations. Each profile lists the common names of species and source countries that:

  • Are rated red by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program
  • Have an active FIP listed on FisheryProgress.org, or 
  • Fall within the scope of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership’s Target 75 Initiative.

Opportunities to Get Involved

Farmed salmon

The farmed salmon industry has prioritized sustainability in recent years, going from no certified farms in 2011 to more than 250 in 2019, and moving some producers from red-rated to yellow and green. But significant issues remain improvement priorities, including feed sustainability, preventing escapes, and strengthening disease and water quality management. To get involved in efforts to improve the sustainability of farmed salmon, consider these initiatives:

  • The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI), which accounts for about 50 percent of the farmed salmon industry, focuses on issues including disease management, shifting to sustainable sources for feed ingredients, and increased transparency. If your organization is a major farmed salmon producer, contact the GSI secretariat at info@globalsalmoninitiative.org for information about joining GSI. If your organization is a farmed salmon buyer, consider asking producers in your supply chain to join.
  • A Chilean collaboration that involves industry (SalmonChile), government (Sernapesca), and Seafood Watch aims to reduce chemical use and anticipates adoption of a landscape-level, coordinated management approach. If your company sources salmon from Chile, check out the Seafood Watch guide to working with suppliers, then ask your suppliers for more information.

Shrimp

The shrimp fishing industry has increasingly embraced FIPs as a forum to address shared concerns. But with more than 90% of the world’s production status unknown or rated red or yellow, much work remains. Improvement priorities include disease and water quality management, as well as IUU fishing. Initiatives addressing these priorities include:

  • The Gulf of California Shrimp Supply Chain Roundtable and the Mexican Seafood Supply Chain Roundtable bring more key producers together with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and other stakeholders to address management improvements, endangered species protections, and other concerns in Mexican shrimp fisheries. Current recommended actions and SFP contacts are listed on the “Activity” tab of each roundtable’s page. If your organization is a shrimp buyer, consider asking producers in your supply chain to join.
  • Fair Trade USA’s work with small-scale shrimp fishermen has addressed IUU fishing, reduced pollution in Mexico’s Altata Bay, and improved conditions for local fishing families. Contact Fair Trade USA to learn more about how your company can support Mexican fishermen committed to improving sustainability.
  • Comprehensive FIPs have launched in countries as distinct as Argentina and India, with aims to reach a performance standard warranting Marine Stewardship Council certification. If your company sources shrimp from either country and wants to get involved, the FisheryProgress.org profiles for these FIPs provide additional detail and contact information. If your organization is a shrimp buyer, consider asking producers in your supply chain to learn more about these FIPs.

Small pelagics

Management improvements and strengthened data collection are critical priorities for future improvements in the environmental performance of small pelagics production. While cultivating demand for sustainable product is critical for market-based sustainability initiatives in any sector, it plays an even more critical role in the commodity market for small pelagics. Initiatives addressing these priorities include:

  • FIPs now cover a substantial share of small pelagic production, including the Mauritanian small pelagics, Morocco sardine - pelagic trawl and seine, Peruvian anchovy - industrial purse-seine, and Peruvian anchovy - small scale purse-seine FIPs.If your company sources these species from either country and wants to get involved, the FisheryProgress.org profiles for these FIPs provide additional detail and contact information. If your organization is a small pelagics buyer, consider asking producers in your supply chain to learn more about these FIPs.
  • Sustainable Fisheries Partnership leads three supply chain roundtables for key fisheries used for fishmeal and fish oil in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Current recommended actions and participating companies are listed on the “Activity” tab of each roundtable’s page. If your organization is a small pelagics buyer, consider asking producers in your supply chain to join a roundtable.
  • The Marine Stewardship Council is leading capacity-building workshops in Peru, Morocco, India, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Russia, and other countries. These workshops aim to help small pelagic and reduction fisheries stakeholders with applicable standards and tools such as the Benchmarking and Tracking tool. If you source small pelagics from small-scale fisheries, consider encouraging your suppliers to explore MSC’s Capacity Building Program.

Squid and octopus

Species in this sector have short lifespans and are vulnerable to a wide range of environmental factors, making stock assessments difficult and, as a result, limiting the effectiveness of efforts to assess fishing’s impact. Other challenges include data deficiencies, the scale of squid and octopus fisheries, and management weaknesses. Initiatives addressing these priorities include:

  • The U.S. Northeastern longfin inshore squid fishery and the Western Asturias Octopus Traps Fishery of Artisanal Cofradias were the first of each species to earn MSC certification. The U.S. fishery is currently extending its scope to include shortfin illex squid. The Western Asturias Octopus Traps Fishery used the Marine Stewardship Council’s risk-based framework to overcome some challenges around assessment including limited data availability and uncertainty in stock assessments due to the short life span of octopus. Contact MSC for additional information about improvement efforts in these fisheries.
  • The Peruvian jumbo flying squid FIP is working with stakeholders in Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico to push the RFMO for observer programs, better science, fleet monitoring, and stock management. If your company sources squid from Peru and you would like to learn more about this FIP, its FisheryProgress.org profile provides additional detail and contact information.
  • The Chinese common squid FIP, run by China Blue Sustainability Institute, has focused on identifying and protecting spawning grounds and implementing minimum size limit. Noting its progress, the Chinese government is considering the project as a pilot for informing national fisheries management reform across domestic Chinese fisheries. If your company sources squid from China, consult the FIP’s FisheryProgress.org page for additional detail and contact information.
  • Sustainable Fisheries Partnership’s Global Squid Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) and Global Octopus Supply Chain Roundtable, each launched less than three years ago, boast a combined 36 participants supporting at least 10 FIPs. Current recommended actions and SFP contacts are listed on the “Activity” tab of each SR’s page.
  • The East China Sea and Yellow Sea Japanese flying squid FIP, currently in the launch phase, aims to address issues affecting fishing in the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea. These waters are fished by vessels from Japan, China, and Korea, so the FIP will engage stakeholders from all three countries to address data collection and stock management needs. If your company sources squid from China, consult the FIP’s FisheryProgress.org page for additional details and contact information.

Tuna

Within the tuna sector, the collaboration is focused on improving the performance of fresh and frozen tuna, by building on promising NGO and industry initiatives. To get involved in efforts to improve the sustainability of fresh and frozen tuna, consider:

  • Sustainable Fisheries Partnership’s Global Fresh and Frozen Tuna Supply Chain Roundtable brings more than 30 leading importers together to support FIPs addressing issues ranging from IUU fishing and management to bycatch and labor rights. Current recommended actions and SFP contacts are listed on the “Activity” tab of each SR’s page. If your company buys fresh or frozen tuna, producers in your supply chain to consider joining.

Whitefish

Whitefish illustrates the potential of sustainability improvement efforts. Almost 38 percent of wild capture whitefish is certified or green-rated, indicating a high level of performance. Additionally, 5 percent of farmed whitefish is certified or green-rated. The whitefish sector also illustrates some of the challenges facing the modern sustainability movement: cultivating demand for sustainable product in producing countries; engaging producers in Asia — especially China — and creating improvement pathways for small aquaculture producers. To get involved in whitefish sustainability improvement efforts, consider learning more about the cod FIPs listed on FisheryProgress.org.

Wild crab

Improvement efforts in the wild crab sector are focused on strengthening management and reducing bycatch. Examples include:

  • SeaChange® IGNITE, an initiative of Thai Union Group PCL, Chicken of the Sea® brand, and Monterey Bay Aquarium focused on improvements in Southeast Asia and other key regions. Work on blue swimming crab aims to address management challenges such as data collection, market development, and verified sustainability improvements, as well as livelihoods. To learn more, contact ignite@thaiunion.com.
  • The NFI Crab Council sponsors comprehensive swimming crab sustainability projects throughout Southeast Asia. PACPI (Philippine Association of Crab Processors Inc.), for example, has begun to swap gillnet and entangling nets with traps with the aim of reducing bycatch. If your company is interested in supporting the PACPI FIP, the FIP’s website provides additional detail and contact information.

Wild snapper and grouper

In many snapper and grouper producing countries, authorities struggle to manage artisanal industries, where many fishing vessels are not even registered, let alone monitored. Because many vessels don’t report catch data, and because data is rarely tracked at the species level, snapper and grouper stock assessments tend to be unreliable. And, because much of the world’s production is consumed domestically in countries like China, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, demand from more mature markets like the U.S. and E.U. holds little sway. Initiatives addressing these priorities include:

Pronatura Noroeste and FEDECOOP launched the Mexico North Pacific barred sand bass FIP in the central Baja California Peninsula. If your company sources snapper / grouper from Mexico and you are interested in joining, the FIP’s FisheryProgress.org profile provides additional information and contacts. If your company is a Mexican snapper / grouper buyer, consider encouraging producers in your supply chain to join.