Fishery name, location and nationality
The fishery name, location and nationality describes the target species (or multispecies), the area where fishing occurs, and the country that controls those fishing grounds (or in the case of high seas fisheries, the fishing vessel’s flag country). By clicking on the fishery name, you can visit the relevant FishSource profile to discover further information about that fishery.
This information has been self-reported by the participating companies to the ODP. It is based on source fishery information reported to them by their suppliers, and has not necessarily been verified by third-party traceability systems. An ODP profile is intended to cover the main seafood species sourced by companies during the reporting period and may not cover all species sourced. Sometimes volumes of a specific seafood product are too small to feature in a profile or a particular species was only used on a pilot or test basis and in these sort of cases they may not be included.
The gear type refers to the type of fishing gear used in the fishery. The fishing gear classifications used in the ODP are based on the International Standard Statistical Classification of Fishing Gear (ISSCFG).
Click here to access the complete FAO description of gear types.
In 2017, we made a change to how we record ‘hook and line’ gear in the ODP profiles in recognition of responsible sourcing commitments made by businesses to purchasing from more sustainable pole-and-line fisheries.
We have broken down the ISSCFG category for ‘hook and line’ gear category to more explicitly state in the ODP profiles whether a fishery uses longline or pole-and-line/handline (hand-operated and mechanized) gear.
Gear categories used in the ODP profiles may continue to evolve as new businesses sourcing from different fisheries enter the ODP. The following gear types feature in the ODP:
Also known as ‘pelagic trawls’, midwater trawls are a type of towed gear that is operated in the mid-water column. They are used to target shoals of pelagic fish such as seabass, mackerel and herring. Midwater trawls include midwater otter trawls and midwater pair trawls.
A type of towed gear that operates in direct contact with the sea bed. Bottom trawls are large, cone-shaped nets with a wide mouth held open by trawl doors or otter boards, tapering to a narrow ‘cod-end’ where the catch is gathered. Selectivity in trawl nets can be determined by mesh size and shape. Bottom trawls include beam trawls, bottom otter trawls and bottom pair trawls.
A type of towed gear used to capture shellfish that is operated in direct contact with the sea bed. Dredges consist of a heavy chain bag attached to a bar, which scrapes the sea bed disturbing shellfish, which are then collected in the chain bag. Dredges cause significant but localized damage to the sea bed. This category includes mechanical and hydraulic boat dredges and lighter, hand dredges.
A long, vertical surrounding net that is hauled by ropes at either end of the net. Seine nets may be operated by boats (boat seines such as the Danish seine) or from shore (beach seines).
A circular net used to capture large shoals of fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel. The gear is characterized by a purse line that draws the bottom of the net closed, surrounding and trapping the target shoal.
Horizontal nets used to catch small pelagic fish and squid. Lift nets are submerged near the water surface and hauled out of the water mechanically or by hand.
Gillnets and entangling nets
Gillnets hang vertically in the water column with the aid of a weighted footrope and floats attached to a headrope. They may be hung at different depths in the water column and can be anchored to the sea bed or drifting. Catch selectivity is determined by mesh size and net depth, with target species becoming entangled by their gills when they swim through the net.
Hook and line
Hook and line is a non-specific gear type where the fish is caught on baited hooks attached to a line. Hook and line gears may be manually or mechanically operated and range from a single line to many lines with many hooks. Hook and line gears are operated at a range of depths and are used to capture a variety of species.
Anchored or drifting lines are suspended in the water column with the aid of floats and weights. A main line is attached to smaller lines with many baited hooks attached. Longlines may be used as pelagic or bottom gear. Hook and bait types will also vary depending on target species.
Handlines and pole-lines
A single pole and line operated by individual fishers that is used to catch tuna and similar large pelagic fish one by one. Bait may be thrown into the water to attract fish to the surface. Handlines and pole and lines are a highly selective gear type, resulting in very low bycatch.
Rake / hand gathered / hand netted
Rakes or hand gathering methods may be used to collect shellfish and crustaceans directly from the seabed or coastal areas. Species such as scallops, abalone and lobsters may be individually collected by divers by hand, whilst some shellfish can be collected from intertidal areas using a spade or rake. This is considered a low impact fishing method. Other gear types covered by this category include hand nets including push nets, a type of scoop that is pushed along the sea bed and is typically used to catch shrimp, and cast nets, a circular net that is thrown flat onto the water surface and is used to catch fish and shrimp near the surface.
Pots and traps
Pots and traps comprise baited cages or baskets, with one or more openings, into which animals are lured. They are typically used to target crustaceans, as well as fish and other species such as squid and octopus. Connected by a line, they are dropped onto the sea bed and are used at a range of depths. The gear is often hauled up by hand unless set at a greater depth. Unwanted catch can usually be released alive, making pots and traps a highly selective static gear type.
Steel-pointed gear that is either shot by a gun or thrown by hand at the target species and is connected to a line for retrieval. Harpoons are operated in surface waters and are used to catch fish one-by-one.
This category includes less commonly used gear types such as pumps, a type of gear that uses suction to draw masses of squid or small fish on board from surface-waters.
Gear not known
Used to describe a fishery where there is a lack of evidence regarding the types of gear operated by the fishers.
Where a fishery is referred to as ‘Certified’, this means it has achieved certification (or recertification) to a voluntary sustainability standard. Note that fisheries that are certified are not necessarily certified to a Chain of Custody standard (which offers a third-party check on traceability). At present, we only recognize certifications that have met the benchmark of the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative. These are:
- Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
- Iceland Responsible Fisheries Management (IRFM)
- Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (Alaska RFM)
Any fishery that is certified to a recognized standard is automatically considered well managed for the purposes of the ODP stock status and management rating, described below, regardless of FishSource scores.
Some Product from Certified Fisheries:
This category indicates that some but not all fishery assessment units or vessels involved in the fishery are certified. Where further information on the certified fishery units is required please see the FishSource profile or relevant certificate of assessment.
FIP fisheries are those currently participating in an improvement project. Where a fishery is indicated as belonging to a FIP, there is a structured program in place for making improvements that meets the guidelines of the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions. Further information about a FIP, including progress ratings, can usually be found on FishSource or FisheryProgress.org.
Some Product from FIP Fisheries:
This category indicates that some but not all fishery assessment units or vessels involved in the fishery are involved in a FIP. Where further information is required please see FishSource or FisheryProgress.org.
Prospective FIP fisheries are those that are engaged in the development of an improvement project that is expected to complete its launch within one year. Prospective FIPs are classed as those in Stages 0 (FIP identification), 1 (FIP development) and 2 (FIP launch). More information about Prospective FIPs and FIP stages can be found at FisheryProgress.org.
Not Certified or in a FIP:
This category includes any fishery that is not currently certified or in an improvement project, including fisheries that are currently undergoing full assessment, have been suspended or withdrawn from a certification programme, or have previously been involved in a FIP.
Stock status and management rating
Using FishSource scores
The stock status and management rating reflects stock health, fishery management and compliance. The rating is determined from five FishSource scores, listed below, that are applied to each fishing unit. Each score ranges from zero to ten, with a higher score indicating better management.
Score 1. Management strategy: Is the management strategy precautionary?
Score 2. Managers’ compliance: Do managers follow scientific advice?
Score 3. Fishers’ compliance: Do fishers comply with management measures?
Score 4. Current health: Is the resource healthy?
Score 5. Future health: Will the resource be healthy in the future?
These criteria are assessed using information obtained from stock assessment reports and from management measures adopted in the fishery. Further information on the FishSource scoring methodology can be found at https://www.fishsource.org/how/scores
Given the large number of existing fisheries globally, some FishSource profiles are incomplete and other fisheries have yet to be profiled. SFP has an External Contributor Program, which allows third parties to hire a pre-approved contributor to use the FishSource platform, methodology, and process to generate public evaluations of fisheries. More information about SFP's External Contributor Program is available at https://www.fishsource.org/faq
Using other NGO ratings
Where FishSource does not yet provide adequate information regarding a fishery, the ODP team have used available public information from other seafood sustainability rating schemes to provide a 'provisional assessment' of the stock status and management rating. This is clearly denoted in the general notes for a fishery as such.
The ratings provided by these schemes are based on different methodologies than that used for the FishSource scores and the outcomes of a full assessment based on FishSource scores may therefore differ.
Using FishSource scores
All FishSource scores ≥ 8.
All FishSource scores ≥ 6.
At least one FishSource score is less than 6.
Profile not yet complete:
All five FishSource scores have not yet been determined.
Using other NGO ratings
Seafood Watch rates this fishery as Best Choice.
Good Fish Guide score is Rating 1 (dark green).
Seafood Watch rates this fishery as Good Alternative.
Good Fish Guide score is Rating 2 (pale green).
Seafood Watch rates this fishery as Avoid.
Good Fish Guide score is Rating 3 (yellow), Rating 4 (orange), or Rating 5 (red).
The ODP profiles provide notes on the environmental impact of each fishery, based on examining relevant information regarding the impact on protected, endangered and threatened (PET) species, bycatch (non-target species caught by accident), the physical impact on the seabed, and any wider effects on the marine ecosystem. These notes are predominantly derived from information provided by SFP’s online resource, FishSource. By clicking on the fishery name you can visit the relevant FishSource page for a more in-depth analysis of the fishery, as well as recommendations on how the supply chain can support improvements to the fishery. Where a FishSource profile is not yet complete, the ODP team have, where possible, used available public information to provide a provisional assessment of the environmental impacts of the fishery.
Protected, Endangered and Threatened (PET) species such as marine mammals, seabirds and sea turtles are sometimes affected by fishing activities, with impacts varying in likelihood and severity by locality and gear type. Management and mitigation measures include gear modifications such as turtle excluder devices (TEDs).
Bycatch is regarded as unwanted catch of non-target species and includes retained non-target catch and discards. Levels of bycatch vary by gear type. For example, pots and traps are a highly selective gear type that usually allow any unwanted catch to be released alive while bottom trawls are significantly less selective.
Benthic impacts vary by gear type. In general, towed benthic gear i.e. bottom trawls and dredges, are perceived to have to the greatest impact on the sea bed. By comparison, gears such as midwater trawls or longlines may only occasionally interact with benthic habitats. Benthic habitat type will also influence the extent of impacts on the sea bed, for example, bottom towed gear will alter but not destroy soft, muddy or sandy sea bed habitat. Management and mitigation measures include use of vessel tracking systems and closure of areas containing sensitive or vulnerable habitat.
The general notes provide information on wider marine ecosystem impacts related to the fishery, supporting information for provisional assessments including other seafood sustainability ratings, and any other important points related to the environmental assessment of the fishery.