This page lists anonymous, real-world examples of how businesses across seafood supply chains have implemented key steps to protect the ocean, people, and communities. Examples are organized to match the steps in the process and the size of the business in question.

Identify, Collect and Assess

Large-Volume Retailer

A large-volume retailer is improving traceability in its fresh tuna supply chain by:

  • expanding its key data elements (KDEs) for tuna so they align with the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) standard, 
  • communicating the new KDE requirements to its tuna vendors, 
  • troubleshooting verification issues with vendors as they arise, and 
  • dedicating resources and working with vendors to pilot an electronic traceability program.

Large-Volume FoodService Company

A large-volume foodservice company is improving the traceability and environmental responsibility of its house-brand farmed shrimp products by:

  • engaging with suppliers to ensure supply chains are traceable to the farm’s location by spot-checking bags in different lots, 
  • working with a pre-competitive roundtable to address deforestation issues and conversion of natural ecosystems like mangroves and other natural wetlands, and 
  • working with NGO partners to adopt key traceability principles and build on the work of the GDST.

REstaurant Chain

The restaurant chain has asked its major suppliers to share agreed upon key data elements (KDEs).

  • The company is using this information to disclose all of its seafood sourcing on the public platform, the Ocean Disclosure Project.
  • The company’s seafood sourcing list includes volumes, gear-type (when relevant), fishery/farm location, and status of fishery/farm (such as FIPs and certifications).
  • The list is reviewed by the company’s NGO partner and updated quarterly.

Midsize Importer and Wholesaler

A mid-sized importer and wholesaler employs one sustainability officer who focuses on social responsibility is:

  • sending out a survey to vendors to understand their policies and procedures to identify possible risks, 
  • communicating the importance of the survey to its vendors, and 
  • sharing the vendors’ performance against the aggregated results.

Large-Volume importer and processor

A company is a large-volume importer and processor of aquaculture products.

  • Based on customers’ demands (which are primarily retailers and foodservice companies), the company has prioritized the development of a GDST-compliant traceability data system.
  • The company collects basic KDEs and enters this data, allowing for full traceability from farm to consumer via an on-pack QR code.

Small wholesaler

A small wholesaler (with less than 15 employees) has never collected KDEs in a consistent manner.

  • The wholesaler now requests KDEs from suppliers to understand the species, location, and production method of all its seafood.
  • It reviews the data and assesses it against NGO sustainability ratings to understand the environmental performance.
  • Based on sales, the wholesaler has prioritized the most important seafood items to check for red-rated/unsustainable seafood. 
  • The wholesaler also works with its suppliers to communicate and set the expectation that KDEs will be included with each purchase order.

Single Location Sushi Restaurant

A sushi restaurant uses data to identify areas of risk.

  • The restaurant asks suppliers and local intermediaries to complete a template document that asks for basic KDEs, such as species’ common names, fishing areas, gear types, and information about existing management measures. 
  • It also asks suppliers to provide sourcing information more frequently because the restaurant’s sushi items change seasonally. 
  • The restaurant compares the data with various resources, such as the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species, NGO ratings, etc.

Fisheries Co-Op

A co-op works to collect basic KDEs from its member fisheries in a consistent, standardized way:

  • The co-op prioritized KDE collection because its clients have all asked for harvest data.
  • The co-op’s system is paper-based, with records maintained and held for a minimum of seven years.
  • It shares the same standardized document with all producers, and the document is aligned with Government reporting requirements.


Large Retailer

A large retailer (with dedicated sustainability staffing and resources) only sells seafood certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP).

  • The retailer expects farm suppliers to ensure sustainable production and sourcing throughout the supply chain, including final processing plants, farms, hatcheries, and feed mills. 
  • Tuna purchases must comply with the International Sustainable Seafood Foundation’s conservation measures, including those adopted in collaboration with relevant tuna Regional Fishery Management Organizations and from vessels registered on the Proactive Vessel Register. 
  • The retailer has also set a goal to help protect, more sustainably manage, or restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030.
  • If it is discovered that the company is procuring species that have an adverse impact on Endangered, Threatened, or Protected (ETP) species, the company will attempt to work with the supplier to find alternative species. If that is not possible, the company will cease sourcing that species from the supplier.

Global Seafood Purchaser and Processor

A global seafood purchaser and processor is:

  • requiring all seafood is traceable to the farm or fishery; 
  • requiring first-tier suppliers to have third-party grievance hotlines to provide workers with a confidential way to report issues and receive assistance; 
  • supporting human rights training for suppliers, pier owners, and vessel owners, including helping managers understand these issues and develop systems to address them; 
  • testing new technology to improve traceability and connect fishers at sea with suppliers via cellular service; 
  • consolidating its supply chain and shifting its procurement model were feasible to increase our visibility, influence, and leverage; 
  • initiating multi-year collaborations designed to improve efforts to monitor, address, and prevent human rights risks for local and international fishing vessels, supported by third-party experts; and 
  • engaging in the Seafood Task Force (a pre-competitive collaboration) to address environmental and social challenges industry-wide, including undertaking more targeted advocacy; and
  • remediating supplier code violations in a timely manner. The company prefers to work with suppliers to remediate code violations; however, where critical violations occur and are not remediated, the company will cease relations with suppliers.

Large-Volume Retailer

A large-volume retailer, in partnership with an NGO, has published a comprehensive seafood sourcing policy.

  • The policy is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and covers environmental and social responsibility. 
  • The policy includes a time-bound target that states, “By 2025, support and purchase from two private-label shrimp products from a regional improvement initiative.” 
  • The policy is available on the retailer’s website, and suppliers are made aware of it at the point of sale.
  • The retailer also has three-year activity plans to make progress toward its 2030 target.

Large-Volume Processor

A large-volume processing company has committed to supporting the SDGs and is engaging its entire management team to conduct a materiality assessment.

  • This assessment will identify and prioritize the environmental, social, and governmental issues that are the most critical to the company. 
  • Based on this assessment, the company and key stakeholders will develop an action plan that aligns with relevant SDG targets and sets key performance indicators for its 2030 goal. 
  • The company has published information about its commitment and established a review panel, including outside stakeholders, to ensure oversight and public reporting occur. 
  • The company has also communicated these plans to its suppliers and customers.

Large-Volume SEafood processor

A large-volume seafood processor has joined a group of seafood companies promoting responsible seafood.

  • The seafood companies have created a pre-competitive workplan to collect bycatch data on endangered, threatened, and protected (ETP) species in tuna fisheries. 
  • This data will be used to identify and inform actions to address ETP bycatch.

Large-Volume REtailer

A large-volume retailer is working with a social responsibility consultant to create a Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) Plan.

  • The retailer has a three-year workplan to assess, mitigate, and remedy its supply chain’s actual impacts and potential human and labor rights risks. 
  • An NGO partner is training retailer staff on the HRDD Plan.  
  • The retailer is making this training and free educational materials available to its vendors. 

Midsize Import and Wholesaler

A midsize importer and wholesaler has developed a vision that sets out its seafood purchasing and selling goals.

  • A prioritization exercise highlighted environmental concerns with some products, so the company’s vision is currently limited to environmental goals. 
  • The company has created a sourcing policy focused on higher-risk seafood products, including proposed timelines and remediation pathways and supporting the development of fishery improvement projects. 
  • The company is transitioning its seafood purchasing to comply with its vision and goals, including conferring with its sustainability officer before agreeing to new contracts.

Large-Volume Importer

A large-volume importer has set a target of sourcing 65% of its seafood from certified sources or small-scale fisheries that have met their responsible fishing goals and will be 100% traceable by the end of 2025 (even if the small-scale fishery sells unrated or uncertified products).

  • The importer has identified data collection service providers to implement a traceability plan.
  • The importer is also working with its design and packaging teams to develop the traceability packaging needs. 
  • The importer has communicated its goals and vision for traceability in internal meetings, newsletters, and seafood media.

Single Location REstaurant

A restaurant has established a goal of sourcing 80% of its seafood from sources that are certified or rated Best Choice or Good Alternative by Seafood Watch within two years.

  • The restaurant is working with its suppliers to review their sources and alternatives if any seafood items do not meet its environmental sustainability goal. 
  • The restaurant has also updated its code of conduct to articulate its support for environmentally responsible seafood. 
  • The restaurant has informed staff and suppliers, is developing training resources, and has shared its goal with customers via social media, website, and onsite signage.

SMall-Volume Wholesaler

A small-volume wholesaler has developed a handbook for human rights, gender equity, and social inclusion to make sourcing decisions that align with the company’s values.

  • The company has a two-year workplan, 
  • provides internal training, and
  • shares its handbook and sourcing policy with vendors.

SEafood Producers Co-Op

A co-op of wild and farmed seafood producers has developed a responsible seafood vision, goals, and time-bound and measurable targets for its priority areas.

  • The co-op also set a vision and targets for sustainable management/responsible labor framework in collaboration with key stakeholders and major buyers. 
  • A percentage of the co-op’s profits go to a fund that supports community-based infrastructure projects. For example, the co-op is working with a key buyer on a three-year workplan to improve its dockside ice/freezer infrastructure. 
  • The co-op is also engaged in fishery and aquaculture improvement projects and will assess these projects using the Social Responsibility Assessment Tool
  • The co-op has a three-year workplan, and leadership bonuses are tied to its successful implementation. 
  • The co-op publishes all related documents on its website.


Processing Company

A South Pacific-based processing company is working to address social responsibility issues in its supply chain. The company’s efforts include:

  • placing women in conventionally male occupations such as trainee positions in the maintenance and engineering department and on tuna fishing vessels; 
  • supporting cadetships for women to study at a maritime college and at sea to become captains or chief engineers; 
  • examining other traditionally all-male positions (such as fuel bunkering, slipways, and gear maintenance) to see where women can be employed; and
  • exploring new approaches to support maternity and childcare needs.

Large-Volume Importer and Processor

A large-volume importer and processor is:

  • developing new policies that align with the SDGs, 
  • working to reduce CO2 emissions at its processing plants, and 
  • communicating with customers about these efforts to raise awareness of the SDGs.

Large-Volume Retailer

The Sustainability Team for a large-volume retailer has implemented a three-year sustainability action plan with support from its NGO partner, Legal Team, Procurement Team, and others.

  • The Sustainability Team participates in Global Tuna Alliance and Seafood Task Force meetings and works with the pre-competitive groups to share lessons learned and make progress towards collective goals. 
  • The Sustainability Team also works with NGO partners to advocate for sustainability, human rights, and worker rights improvements within the seafood supply chain by supporting international and country-level governance reforms. 
  • The Sustainability Team also shares information about its work and progress with other companies and the public.

Midsize Importer and Wholesaler

A midsize multi-species supplier (with a dedicated sustainability officer) has joined a pre-competitive collaboration.

  • The company is engaging with government officials by signing joint letters and participating in regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) meetings. 
  • The supplier is a project partner in fishery improvement projects (FIPs) to improve coastal fisheries. 
  • The supplier and other companies fund a project officer to administer the FIPs. Information about the FIPs is published on Fishery Progress and shared with relevant stakeholders.

Large-Volume Importer and processor

A large-volume importer and processor has implemented an action plan for data collection and traceability.

  • The company works with GDST-compliant data service companies to ensure its data collection platform is accessible to all companies in its supply chain. 
  • The company promotes the GDST on its website and provides financial support. 
  • It has also published a sustainable seafood statement and advocated for management and legislative improvements at the local and national levels.

Single Location Restaurant

A restaurant stopped serving red-rated farmed salmon after working with its supplier to review and understand sustainable alternatives, such as U.S. farmed trout.

  • The restaurant has signed letters to the U.S. Congress expressing concerns about legislation threatening the health of domestic fish populations and the businesses that depend on them. 
  • It has also been active on social media to build support for legislation that outlines a more streamlined permitting process and allocation of research dollars to increase responsible and more equitable U.S. aquaculture projects.

A Company’s Remediation PRocess

A company has set up a web-based database for supplier approval.

  • The company collects quality assurance documents, a social compliance questionnaire, and certification information. 
  • All suppliers are required to submit their documents for approval. 
  • Active suppliers are automatically notified when updated documents are needed or when they are close to expiration/annual renewal. 
  • Suppliers that fail to submit the required information will eventually be deactivated, per the remediation process below.

Time Prior to Expiration

Parties Notified

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Day after document expiration

All above parties, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Team, and vendor in question is notified that the vendor is no longer approved and will be deactivated in ordering systems (Accounts payable will deactivate).

*If supplier reaches out with an update, and the update is communicated with the QA team, the above process is postponed

Three Companies Climate-related Efforts

Company 1 is a small business that has replaced high-energy light bulbs with motion-sensitive, energy-efficient lights. The company also has an office and warehouse recycling and composting program, added cardboard balers to its warehouse, and will install a styrofoam densifier in 2024.

Company 2 is a midsize business that is collecting Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions data and will use this data to evaluate where improvements can be made. It has hired a third party to assist in organizing the data and analysis. After two years of collecting data, the company will set a percentage goal to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions in Year 3. All information will be published on its website.

Company 3 is actively advocating for long-term science-based fisheries management to increase the resilience of fish stocks in the face of a changing marine environment. The company is working with a pre-competitive collaboration to amplify its advocacy.

National Chain

A national chain has publicly available animal welfare policies. The policies include:

  • guidelines on routine mutilations, sex reversal, transport times, capture, stunning and slaughter, and other topics.
  • The company reports progress toward its commitments annually.

Large-Volume REtailer

A large-volume retailer has a comprehensive commitment to social responsibility.

  • The retailer’s commitment includes worker-driven objectives that are based on credible international standards; 
  • an effective traceability policy and processes that, at a minimum, include data on the existence of an independent trade union or representative workers organization; and a code of conduct that reflects its commitment to social responsibility, which suppliers must review and sign annually.
  • The retailer verifies supplier compliance through risk-based social audits and publishes the results annually. It also has a clear and timely remediation process and prefers to work with suppliers to remedy code of conduct violations. 
  • The retailer will cease supplier relations if critical violations are not remedied. 
  • The retailer sets and reports on its achievements against quantitative targets and timelines where appropriate.

Large Volume REtailer

A large-volume retailer is committed to not sourcing endangered, threatened, or protected (ETP) species.

  • All of the retailer’s seafood is third-party certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), or Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP).
  • In addition to certification, the company is committed to only sourcing seafood (farmed and wild) that does not harm any ETP species. 
  • If the retailer discovers it’s procuring seafood species caught or farmed in ways that adversely impact ETP species, the retailer will try to work with the supplier to find alternatives. The retailer will cease sourcing a species from the supplier when an alternative is unavailable.

Monitor and Report

Large-Volume REtailer

A large-volume retailer monitors and reports its progress on the percentage of products that meet its environmental sourcing policy. The retailer:

  • provides trainings to employees and vendors;
  • takes action in response to social responsibility risks identified in its supply chain; 
  • uses a third party to review progress toward its commitments, 
  • has a GDST-compliant electronic traceability platform and collects production information on every purchase order. 
  • publishes information about its activities and progress toward its Sustainability Plan Targets and Global Tuna Alliance commitments.

Large-Volume Importer and Processor

A large-volume importer and processor self-assesses how well it’s meeting its commitments.

  • The self-assessment is submitted to a pre-competitive collaboration, which then scores the company’s progress against the collaboration’s strategy. 
  • The results are publicly available on the company’s website. In addition, the company’s suppliers must provide source data in their purchase orders, enter the data in the company’s digital platform, or provide this information in spreadsheet form. 
  • The data is reviewed quarterly using the GDST Completeness Tool as well as published online and in seafood media.

SIngle Location REstaurant

A restaurant has begun tracking and reporting its sustainability journey.

  • The restaurant measures the percent of seafood by volume sold that meets its commitment.
  • It also reports on progress made towards commitment and shares source fishery information with its customers.

Producer Co-Op

A co-op reports information about its seafood products to its members twice a year and publicly once a year.

  • It reviews catch documentation daily for completeness and accuracy. The daily records are kept on a spreadsheet. 
  • Twice a year, the co-op reports its progress toward its sustainability goals and areas for improvement with its members.

Refine and Iterate

Large-Volume Retailer

A large-volume retailer is a multi-species buyer with an allocated budget for responsibility.

  • The retailer has a standard operating procedure that is reviewed and revised annually, and it reports all outcomes to the Board. 
  • Results are also shared publicly to ensure full transparency. 
  • Any amendments are clearly signposted and if no changes are made to the strategy, the rationale is clearly elucidated.

Midsize Wholesaler

A midsize wholesaler purchases from a single operation that is an aquaculture improvement project (AIP).

  • The wholesaler reviewed the AIP and found no justification for the lack of progress.
  • It Ceased sourcing from that AIP after it had made no progress for 10 years.
  • The wholesaler updated its sourcing criteria to account for similar projects that aren’t making progress.

Large-Volume Importer and Processor

A large-volume importer and processor (with a single sustainability officer):

  • assesses data quarterly, 
  • sets new goals annually, and
  • defines additional KDEs to evaluate its supply chain better.

Single Location REstaurant

A restaurant is a small volume retailer of multiple species. The restaurant prioritizes selling seasonal seafood by continually assessing its sources.

Tribal Fishery

A tribal fishery interested in increasing its market share and improving the overall environmental responsibility of its operation is:

  • engaging with an NGO and a consultant to enter into a fishery improvement project, and
  • refining its targets and outcomes based on the audit results.