Fish and fish products are increasingly globalized. More and more fish are caught in one part of the world, transported to another for processing and then finally consumed in yet another country.

In an increasingly competitive market, large food companies search for ways to distinguish their products, brands or firm from their competitors. “Corporate social responsibility” policies are about building reputation and gaining market share.

Strategies relating to environmental concerns include well-publicized ethical procurement policies. In terms of publicizing a sustainability element in procurement, many firms have linked themselves to existing eco-labels; some (albeit fewer) have created their own ecolabels.

The most well-known ecolabel, that of the Marine Stewardship Council, was the product of co-operation between Unilever and WWF.


Ecolabelling is a tool to promote products with less negative environmental impact than comparable products.

Ecolabelling is voluntary. The systems are transparent and should be open for every country and aiming at promoting free trade. Environmental criteria must be relevant and possible to monitor and audit. LCA perspective (life cycle assessment) is a guiding principle.

” The first ecolabelling initiatives appeared in the early 1990s and were largely concerned with incidental catch (by-catch) issues. For example, the ‘Dolphin Safe’ label was based on standards developed by the United States’ NGO Earth Island Institute and is focused on dolphin by-catch in the tuna industry.”