Can fish be part of a sustainable diet?

29 July 2022

With the world’s population expected to reach almost 10 billion by 2050, food security is now in the spotlight more than ever before. But ensuring all people around the world have access to safe, sufficient, and nutritious food is no simple task.  

A key part of global nutrition and food security is ensuring that populations can obtain enough protein from responsible sources. Today, a large portion of this necessary protein in our diets comes from seafood – whether it be small fishing communities who rely on the oceans as a source of food, or those who pluck seafood products from supermarket shelves. With the rise in population however, we must carefully consider how we can both meet global seafood demand and protect our oceans and planet.

Out at sea

The fishing industry has undergone plenty of change in recent decades, with huge leaps being made in terms of equipment. With premium technology and giant sea vessels, humans are now able to catch fish at an unsustainable rate – a rate that is faster than the ecosystems can replenish.

Fortunately for our oceans, however, environmental experts have been raising awareness of the problems that overfishing brings and putting pressure on the sector to change. This has resulted in a concerted effort to make the fishing industry more sustainable. Nevertheless, fisheries can no longer keep up with global demand and fish responsibly. For us to continue eating seafood without depleting wild fish stocks, we need to find another way to source it.

Supplementing demand with farmed seafood

If done responsibly, aquaculture – the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, and seaweed – offers a safe way to supplement demand and attain food security. Although a relatively new segment of farming compared to traditional agriculture, the sector has developed rapidly. Within the last 50 years, aquaculture has been made more efficient through innovations in fish feed and better management practices, and more sustainable thanks to advanced research and the adoption of certification programs that help reduce the impact on the environment and improve animal welfare.

In fact, the aquaculture sector is now responsible for 50% of the seafood we consume and offers the global population a sustainable source of nutrients. The Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index, which measures the sustainability performance of 60 of the largest publicly listed animal protein producers, has ranked aquaculture companies in five of the top ten spots.

The role of certification

Despite improvements to the aquaculture sector as a whole, it’s still important to look at each farm individually. Through credible aquaculture certification and on-site audits of farms, we can ensure transparency about the nature of farming that takes place there. Certification systems can also promote the responsible development of the fastest-growing animal protein sector and drive improvements that help protect life under water for future generations. Overall, the forward-thinking aquaculture sector is looking to enhance rather than threaten our food security.

Responsible aquaculture

Knowing the benefits of aquaculture certification for the fish farming sector and our planet, it is vital to seek out products that come from certified production processes where you can. The GGN label is a label that helps you to identify such products in store.
Behind the GGN label is a robust portfolio of standards and assessment criteria for responsible farming from GLOBALG.A.P. Together these criteria make up one of the most widely recognized aquaculture certifications in the sector and are considered a robust way of safeguarding all aspects of fish farming: For example, there are specific requirements for safe and responsibly sourced fish feed, and the minimum levels of animal welfare that farms must meet through strict rules on how the fish are kept and handled. There are also criteria that look at the effects of aquaculture sites on the surrounding natural environment, ensuring there is no significant impact, and methods of monitoring the well-being of farm workers through social assessments and worker interviews.
Conscious consumption

Not satisfied with the mission of certified, responsible farming alone, the GGN label also stands for transparency. Simply enter the tracking number found on your product (GGN or CoC number) on our homepage to find out where it came from – because we believe you have the right to know where your food comes from and how it was produced.

By choosing an aquaculture product bearing the GGN label, you can enjoy an omega-3 boost from fish, safe in the knowledge that you’re not threatening wild fish stocks and therefore impacting food security.


To find out more about the standards that underpin the GGN label, visit our About Us web page.


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