Benchmarking & Eco-Certifications

A number of eco-certification programs exist in the seafood world, and SeaChoice is often asked to provide information on which programs we recommend. Starting in 2012, a benchmarking study was conducted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. This study identified which standards match up to the sustainability criteria used in SeaChoice and Seafood Watch rankings. Through benchmarking, SeaChoice can defer to certifications which meet, at a minimum, a SeaChoice yellow or “Some Concerns” ranking. Detailed information on the benchmarking study is available at here.

A credible eco-certification:

  • Is transparent about who is involved in the certification process and what process will be used from start to finish. Provides updates on progress and challenges
  • Is multi-stakeholder, including a diverse and balanced group of representatives from the seafood industry, science, non-governmental sectors, and the local community
  • Is based on scientific evidence and is independent
  • Has a process for on-going improvement, with periodic reviews to address new scientific findings 
  • Is verified by a third-party, avoiding the potential conflict of interest of having the standards owner also certify the standards
  • Monitors and evaluates progress to determine eligibility for re-certification
  • Addresses key environmental impacts based on independent science

In addition to the current SeaChoice “Best Choice” and “Some Concerns” choices, we recommend that consumers look for seafoods certified by the following groups:


Certification Program


Farmed catfish (pangasius)   asc ASC farmed pangasius
Farmed freshwater fish and carp natureland Naturland farmed freshwater fishesNaturland farmed carp
Farmed geoduck (giant clam)  food-alliancecanada-organic Food Alliance Certified farmed shellfishCanada Organic farmed shellfish
Farmed mussles  ascnaturelandfood-alliancecanada-organicfriend-of-the-sea ASC farmed bivalvesFood Alliance Certified farmed shellfishNaturland farmed musselsCanada Organic farmed shellfish

Friend of the Sea farmed mussels

Farmed oysters and clams  ascfood-alliancecanada-organic ASC farmed bivalvesFood Alliance Certified farmed shellfishCanada Organic farmed shellfish
Farmed scallops  asccanada-organic ASC farmed bivalvesCanada Organic farmed shellfish
Farmed shrimp  ascnaturelandThe Global Aquaculture Alliance ASC farmed shrimpNaturland farmed shrimpGAA/BAP 2 & 4 Star farmed shrimp
Wild caught seafood  msc Marine Stewardship Council

Further information: