Farming or culture of aquatic organisms (e.g., fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants). This includes practices where human intervention within the rearing/culture process is used to enhance production through actions such as (but not limited to) feeding, protection from predators, and stocking.
The practice of farming/culture implies either individual or corporate ownership over the cultured stock and its scope includes development and operation of aquaculture systems, facilities, and practices, facility siting, production of aquatic organisms, and their transport. (FAO 2020)
A (commercially managed) venture that farms aquatic organisms. (MSC 2019)
Peer-reviewed, open-access, published literature that details the evaluation of a wild capture fishery or aquaculture operation against Criteria or Principles within a program’s Standards .
Bycatch (Non-Target Species)
The incidental capture of aquatic organisms as a direct result of fishing, external to a fishery’s impacts on target species towards which fishing effort is directed. The term does not refer to aquatic organisms released alive within recreational catch-and-release fishery management.
Bycatch may be retained through sale or personal use or returned to the aquatic environment as discards (including both economic and regulatory discards). Ocean Wise Seafood classifies all discards, including the live release of organisms as bycatch unless there is valid scientific evidence of high post-release survival and no documented evidence of negative impacts at the population level. SFW 2020b
Criteria / Criterion
Science-based performance metrics against which the ecological sustainability of a wild capture fishery or aquaculture operation is determined through a Seafood Watch or Ocean Wise Seafood assessment. Criteria of Assessment are specific to the Standard applied.
Seafood Watch assessment criterion denoting very severe conservation concerns, applicable to a subset of assessment criteria specific to the SFW Standard in assessment (SFW 2020a; SFW 2020b; SFW 2020c). A critical score for any factor of assessment triggers an ‘avoid’ Seafood Watch rating and Ocean Wise Not Recommended rating for the assessed seafood.
A set of logical statements of the type “if [condition], then [decision]” used to determine a seafood rating . Decision rules used by Ocean Wise Seafood for rating development are provided in the program’s Scoring Methodology and Ratings System.
Procedure by which an independent auditor (a.k.a. Certification Assessment Body) gives written or equivalent confirmation that a product, process, or service meets the specified environmental requirements of a third-party Standard. (MSC 2019)
The sum (or range) of activities associated with catching or harvesting a given aquatic organism prior to processing. (FAO 1997)
Ocean Wise Seafood designation denoting where the OWS Scoring Methodology and Ratings System has determined a seafood does not meet the sustainability threshold for recommendation because of its assessment Overall Score and/or associated decision rules .
Ocean Wise Recommended
Ocean Wise Seafood designation denoting where the Ocean Wise Scoring Methodology and Ratings System has determined a seafood meets the sustainability threshold for recommendation as a result of the associated fishery or aquaculture assessment Overall Score and/or associated decision rules .
The final assessment score for seafood(s) assessed utilizing Seafood Watch Standard(s) for assessment. Used in combination with applicable decision rules to determine the rating for a seafood asOcean Wise Recommended or Not Recommended. The total possible overall score for wild capture fisheries, including salmonid specific fisheries is 5. The total possible overall score for aquaculture is 10.
Rating(s) / Recommendation(s)
Tool for measuring and communicating fishery and/or aquaculture operation performance to government, producers, NGOs, business partners, and other stakeholders. Ratings/recommendations for specific seafood is derived through assessment of a wild capture fishery and aquaculture operation’s ecological performance against program assessment Standard(s) .
A fish species within the salmon family (Salmonidae). Examples include sockeye salmon, Atlantic salmon, Arctic char, steelhead trout, rainbow trout, lake trout, whitefish.
Scoring Methodology and Ratings System
The numerical scoring and decision rules used by the Ocean Wise Seafood program to communicate seafood’s ecological sustainability against the program’s sustainability bar. It consists of:
- Numerical scoring for seafood sourced from wild capture fisheries and aquaculture operations assessed using Seafood Watch Standards or benchmarking; and
- Decision rules for development of ratings as devised within an assessment Standard or as developed by the Ocean Wise Seafood program.
Click to view the Ocean Wise Seafood Scoring Methodology and Ratings System policy .
Whole or part of organisms (e.g., fish, molluscs, crustaceans, algae) derived from aquatic environments (i.e., caught or cultured in marine and freshwater habitats) that are consumed by humans.
A self-sustaining population (e.g., finfish or invertebrates) that is not strongly linked to other populations through interbreeding, immigration, or emigration. Ideally, the management unit of “stock” should correspond to a discrete biological unit. However, often the fisheries management unit of “stock” may not be the same as the biological unit. (SFW 2020b)
Formal written framework developed by a third-party organisation to which assessment of the relative sustainability of fishery and aquaculture operations is measured. Standard may refer to the Seafood Watch Assessment Standards (SFW 2020a; SFW 2020b; SFW 2020c) or the MSC Standards for Sustainable Fisheries (MSC 2020a). Assessment of wild capture fisheries and aquaculture operations against a Standard serves as the basis for Ocean Wise seafood ratings as part of the Scoring Methodology and Ratings System.
Sustainable / Sustainability
Seafood that is ecologically sustainable (i.e., sourced from fisheries or aquaculture operations whose direct activities do not cause or lead to undesirable changes in the biological productivity, biological diversity, or ecosystem structure and functioning from one human generation to the next). NRC 1998)
Species that are primarily sought by fishers in a particular fishery through directed fishing effort. Note: Target species can be refined as primary or secondary target species depending on the volume caught.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2020. FAO term portal. Glossary. Available from http://www.fao.org/faoterm/collection/fisheries/en.
Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). 2019, March 28. MSC-MSCI vocabulary v1.2. Marine Stewardship Council.
Seafood Watch (SFW). 2020a. Seafood Watch Standard for Aquaculture. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Monterey, California. Available from https://www.seafoodwatch.org/-/m/sfw/pdf/criteria/aquaculture/mba-seafood-watch-aquaculture-standard-version-a4.pdf?la=en.
Seafood Watch (SFW). 2020b. Seafood Watch Standard for Fisheries. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Monterey, California. Available from https://www.seafoodwatch.org/-/m/sfw/pdf/criteria/fisheries/mba-seafood-watch-fisheries-standard-version-f4.pdf?la=en.
Seafood Watch (SFW). 2020c. Seafood Watch Standard for Salmon Fisheries. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Monterey, California. Available from https://www.seafoodwatch.org/-/m/sfw/pdf/criteria/fisheries/mba-seafood-watch-salmon-fisheries-standard-version-s2.pdf?la=en.