Demand for seafood is on the increase, per capita consumption is now more than double what it was 50 years ago. In the 1960s, per capita consumption was 9.9kg and in 2016 it exceeded 20kg per capita.


Global food production needs to double to meet the demands of a growing population, which is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. At the same time, demand for seafood is also increasing.

Almost a third of commercial fish stocks are now fished at biologically unsustainable levels, which is triple the level of 1974. The state of the world's marine resources has not improved at the same rate that demand has increased.

Aquaculture Opportunity

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO) has identified a food gap with seafood, if production does not increase to keep pace with demand. It is predicted that global seafood demand will exceed 260 million tons by 2030 and that the current predicted supply at today’s rate will be 210 million tons. This 50 million ton shortfall in production will need to come from aquaculture and it has the capacity to meet global demand. Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production system in the world and more than half of the fish consumed globally already come from aquaculture.

Some concerns about aquaculture production have given rise to seafood certification and SGS can provide certification to the major aquaculture standards. 

 Merge Logos of BAP, ASC and CGN 749px


The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) was founded in 2010 by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH). Its goal is to transform the world’s seafood markets and promote best environmental and social aquaculture performance. A series of standards were developed through a process called the Aquaculture Dialogues which involved scientists, conservation groups, NGOs, aquaculture producers, seafood processors and the retail and food service industries. 

Eight current ASC standards cover 12 species; abalone, bivalves (clams, mussels, oysters, scallops) freshwater trout, pangasius, salmon, shrimp, tilapia, seriola and cobia. The environmental standards are concerned with biodiversity, feed, pollution, diseases, chemical and medicine use and wild seed collection. The social standards are concerned with child labor, community interactions, indigenous people interactions and equitable working environments.


The Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) set of seafood standards were developed in the mid 2000s and are one of the main aquaculture standards for producers wishing to import product to North America or Europe. The standards have wide support from the majority of retailers in North America and cover areas such as traceability, food safety, worker welfare, animal welfare and environment. The standards are unique in that they require all facilities to test product and also, in some cases, water and effluent. SGS can provide certification to the BAP standards and can also provide laboratory testing of product as required by the standards.

Global G.A.P.

The Global G.A.P. Aquaculture Standard is one of the more established standards in seafood, having been founded in the early 2000s. It is a key requirement for most producers who are exporting to European retailers and like BAP covers traceability, food safety, worker welfare, animal welfare and environmental issues. SGS can perform Global G.A.P. audits in all the major aquaculture producing regions in the world for Global G.A.P. Aquaculture, Chain of Custody and Compound Feed Manufacturing.

For the complete range of SGS services and support visit SGS Food Safety.

For more information, please contact:

Cormac O’Sullivan
Manager, Seafood & Aquaculture Audit & Certification
t: +353 (0) 871 169737