Friend of the Sea Certification gives the public reassurance that fish products originating from a fisheries are managed in a responsible and sustainable way - something that is becoming critical. More than 2.000 aquatic species are currently endangered of extinction (IUCN Redlist) and one of the causes is overfishing. More than 50% of worldwide commercial fish stocks are currently either overexploited, depleted or data deficient. Furthermore some fishing methods impact the seabed ecosystem and generate unsustainable levels of discards.
Aquaculture itself, while representing a valid lower impact alternative to some fishing methods and fisheries, if not appropriately developed and managed, it has proved to be detrimental, determining in some cases the destruction of entire mangroves forests or causing water pollution or genetic weakening of wild populations..
Only products from healthy not overexploited fish stocks and fished by selective methods (max 8% discards) with negligible impact on the seabed, can be certified.
As far as aquaculture products, these must be farmed in sites preliminarily assessed for the Environmental Impact, use no growth hormones nor antifouling paints. Water, energy and waste management must be in place and escapes must be prevented. Fishfeed must be sourced from Friend of the Sea approved sources and certified sustainable.
Control Union Certifications is an independent certification body that carries out inspections, audits, verifications and awards certificates for the Friend of The Sea (FOS), Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).