ELI fosters the development and continued improvement of incentive programs that encourage producers to implement sustainable aquaculture practices. In partnership with the Ocean Foundation, ELI identified best practices for the governance of aquaculture ecolabels and continues to work with certification systems to make additional improvements.
Aquaculture Certification and Ecolabeling
In partnership with The Ocean Foundation and with support from The Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation and The Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, ELI has produced a gold standard for sustainable aquaculture ecolabeling practices. The Gold Standard has launched a national dialogue on aquaculture certification and encourages adoption of sustainable practices by the expanding aquaculture industry. The gold standard serves as a framework against which specific certification schemes may be measured in terms of environmental, social, and economic sustainability. By evaluating ecolabels against the Gold Standard, we seek to build relationships and assist efforts in their efforts to achieve credibility. To that end, we conduct outreach by engaging key aquaculture regulators, certifiers, and other interested parties.
The Gold Standard was developed through a comprehensive literature review of laws, regulations, policies, and existing certification programs, and through in-depth interviews with certification experts, accreditors, and those seeking certification. It includes a legal and policy framework for the gold standard, the rationale supporting the elements of the gold standard, and a step-wise implementation process to help certifiers upgrade their standards to achieve sustainable aquaculture programs. It summarizes aquaculture challenges and the strengths and weaknesses of existing certification programs. It also describes the existing legal and regulatory landscape within which aquaculture facilities must operate. The report can be used as a teaching tool and a policy resource service for aquaculture regulators, certifiers, retailers, consumers, and other interested parties.