Fisheries – Principle 3 | Seafood MAP

Supports global ecosystems


Supports global ecosystems

According to recent FAO reports, seafood makes up almost 50% of all protein demand eaten globally. Seafood is a key protein source for the future and is scaling rapidly, its growth posing risk of disrupting ecosystem balance. Production should be maintained with the surrounding wildlife and habitat in mind and mitigate impact on the natural environment. Capture fisheries must be well-managed and regulated to allow for optimal and sustainable production.

Fishers should implement best fishing practices that consider populations of marine life and maintain ecosystem balance. Maintaining ecosystem balance includes optimizing fishing gear, preventing ghost fishing and improving conservation. Fishing operations should contribute to assessing and mitigating fishing impacts for effective fisheries management.


Michelle Cho

New England Aquarium

Key Topics Explained 

What is the connection between fisheries and ocean health?

Responsible fisheries are an important part of keeping our oceans and planet healthy. Our interest is in ensuring responsible, balanced use of healthy oceans by thriving coastal communities. One way to do this is to recognize and reward sectors or individuals in the marketplace that are: 

  • using fishing methods or gears that have minimal impacts on the ecosystem, such as by reducing the time gear is in contact with the seafloor;
  • adhering to strong management measures that may, for example, use science to set limits that maintain the health of populations; and
  • collecting and sharing data, voluntarily or by complying with legal requirements, which can help fisheries managers adapt to things like climate-driven changes in ocean conditions.

This can further encourage and inspire others to show similar responsibility and innovative forward-thinking. Whether happening on a large, industrial-scale or on a small scale, it is important to provide all of these proactive players with the opportunity for recognition and access to markets.

Associated GSSI Global Benchmark Tool components: 
  • D1.01 Governance and Management Approach – Designated Authority 
  • D1.16 Governance and Management Approach – Management Documentation 
  • D4.07 Assessment Methodologies – Ecosystem structure, processes and function 
  • D4.08 Assessment Methodologies – Habitat 
  • D4.09 Assessment Methodologies – Dependent Predators 
  • D5.05.03 Management Measures – Non-Certified Catches 
  • D5.09 Management Measures – Ecosystem structure, processes and function
Associated SSCI Social Compliance Benchmark Tool components: