SFP Framework for Sustainably Managed Aquaculture

Sustainably managed aquaculture requires best practices at the farm level, production zone level and national policy level.  To date markets have focused their attention almost exclusively at farm-level practices.  While recognizing the benefits of farm certification in addressing some risks, this approach fails to address systemic issues such as disease risk.  SFP proposes to work with the seafood supply chain and related stakeholder to promote comprehensive improvements to aquaculture through Aquaculture Improvement Projects and Supply Chain Roundtables using the Framework as a roadmap.  The Framework is guided heavily by FAO’s Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture, and also forms the backbone of SFP’s FishSource Aquaculture assessment methodology.

National and Regional Governance

  • Aquaculture management plans based on zonal management are developed, published and regularly updated and reviewed with participation of key stakeholders.
  • Aquaculture Management Areas (AMA) are established that guide farm siting and coordinated environmental and disease management.
  • There are science-based limits on the outputs of aquaculture (effluent, chemicals, escapes) that are relevant to the species, production system and geography of farming.
  • Regulations are effectively enforced.
  • Human rights are protected and abusive labor practices are eliminated from aquaculture supply chains.
  • Ensure traceability with verification from the farm through the supply chain.

Best Practice

  • Producers are formally organized and adopt and enforce robust codes of good practice, with regular public and transparent enforcement and reporting.
  • Farmers and managers use data to inform and improve management actions; data is publicly available. 
  • Aquaculture inputs (e.g. feed, seed, water) are traceable and from sources that are managed in ecologically- and socially-responsible ways. 

Disease Risk

  • Health management plans and emergency disease response plans are developed for all production zones and updated regularly.
  • Biosecurity protocols and disease responses are coordinated across all producers in a given zone.
  • Incidents of disease and management actions taken are monitored and publicly reported.

Resource Management

  • Industry and governments move towards management based on environmental carrying-capacity limits, where existing production and growth are managed against science-based thresholds and the assessment of cumulative impacts.
  • Marine, coastal and/or land use planning is conducted to evaluate and account for all users of shared resources, guide site selection and ensure the local resource base is protected.
  • Environmental impacts (inputs and outputs) are regularly monitored at both the farm-level and area-level, with regular public and transparent reporting of results. 


  • The fishmeal and oil in aquaculture feed is sourced from well managed fisheries free of abusive labor practices.
  • All ingredients in feed are fully traceable to source.
  • Feed lots are fully traceable through production chain to final product.