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Overview of current aquaculture standards and certification schemes


At present there are at least 30 certification schemes and eight key international agreements relevant to aquaculture certification. At least another nine initiatives were also identified as addressing sustainability issues and creating a framework for differentiating sources of aquatic products in this respect. The main schemes are collated in Annexes 2–9; current standards, objectives, types of certification schemes and types of organizations promoting the scheme have been addressed as far as possible.

The schemes can be broadly split into the groups presented in Table 1.

Table 1. The main certification schemes relevant to aquaculture certification

Schemes promoted by retailers


Safe Quality Food &


Schemes promoted by the aquaculture industry

Global Aquaculture Alliance & Aquaculture Certification Council

Shrimp Seal of Quality (SSoQ)


SIGES – SalmonChile

Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation Code of Good Practice

Schemes promoted by governments

Thai Quality Shrimp

Certification schemes in China

Safety agri-food certification
Green food standard

Vietnam GAP and CoC programme
Hong Kong Accredited Fish Farm Scheme

Certification schemes provided by NGOs

Marine Aquarium Council

International Standards Organization

Organic certification schemes

International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements


Soil Association

BioGro New Zealand

Bio Suisse


Fair trade certification schemes

Alter-Trade Japan

Ethical Trading Initiative

Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International

Animal welfare and “free-range” schemes

Freedom food

Label Rouge

Other organizations and schemes which may have relevance to aquaculture certification

WWF aquaculture dialogues and standards

Marine Stewardship Council

Seafood Watch of the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Environmental Justice Foundation

Federation of European Aquaculture Producers

International Fair Trade Association

Swiss Import Promotion Programme

11 Although ChinaGAP is benchmarked against the GLOBALGAP standards and receives the support of GLOBALGAP, it also received strong support from the government and, as such, it is mentioned among the schemes promoted by governments.

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