Members of the Collaboration are global seafood certification and ratings programs focussed on environmental sustainability and/or social responsibility: Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Fair Trade USA, Marine Stewardship Council, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. 

MRAG was commissioned to produce a report that consolidates individual member data and reporting to present a more complete picture of progress and gaps in achieving sustainable fisheries and aquaculture using markets mechanisms. More specifically, this was to include a map showing the distribution of sustainable status of production and demand by region. These were compared with baseline information obtained from FAO data on (i) total fisheries and aquaculture production and (ii) import-export data using trade based Harmonized System (HS) classification using the CommTrade online data portal.

Seafood sectors were defined based on the definitions developed by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership for its Target 75 analyses, and expanded on in some cases to ensure inclusion of certified and rated species that fall outside of the defined Target 75 sectors: whitefish, small pelagics, shrimp, tuna, farmed salmon, squid and octopus, crab, and snapper and grouper.

The analysis showed a number of constraints and limitations in the datasets, including the level of detailed trade information. For example, there is currently no defined commodities and product types for snapper and grouper species within the HS classification system for trade, and therefore these analyses are unable to isolate imports and exports for that sector.

The results were used by members of the Collaboration to hold panel discussions and presentations at various seafood events to highlight gaps and facilitate engagement in priority regions. In addition, the results are to be published on an interactive map posted on the Collaboration’s website.