Monterey Bay Aquarium gives blessing to certain eco-labels

GlobalGap eco-labels and Aquaculture Stewardship Council labels for certified salmon and tilapia have fallen short of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s new list of recommended eco-labels.

On Thursday, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program issued a list describing which seafood eco-labels are equivalent to its own ranking system, reported Monterey County Weekly.

The institute announced it has rated 29 eco-certification standards for wild and farmed seafood, and ranked 11 of them as equivalent to its yellow (“good alternative”) or green (“best choice”) Seafood Watch rankings. The others were ranked as “red”: “It cannot be assured that seafood certified to this standard is equivalent to at least a Seafood Watch yellow ‘Good Alternative’ recommendation.”

The benchmarking effort is intended to make buying sustainable seafood easier to consumers, who will not need to cross-check certifications, said Monterey Bay.

It recommends seafood carrying the following certifications:

  • The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label for all wild-caught seafood
  • Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)-certified farmed shrimp, catfish and bivalves (mussels, oysters, clams and scallops)
  • NaturLand-certified farmed shrimp, mussels, carp and freshwater fish
  • Canada Organic-certified shellfish (farmed mussels, oysters, clams, scallops and geoduck clams)
  • Food Alliance-certified shellfish (farmed mussels, oysters, clams and geoduck clams)
  • Friend of the Sea-certified farmed mussels

Those that fell short of Seafood Watch approval:

  • Aquaculture Stewardship Council-certified salmon and tilapia
  • Canada Organic-certified salmon
  • Certified Quality-certified Salmon EcoStandard and Salmon Saltwater Rearing
  • Friend of the Sea-certified farmed salmon, prawn, Arctic char and wild fisheries
  • Global Aquaculture Alliance-certified shrimp, tilapia, salmon and catfish
  • Global GAP certification
  • NaturLand-certified cod and salmon
  • Thai Code of Conduct
  • Thai GAP (Good Aquaculture Practice)