Protecting Ocean Wildlife

Bycatch Audits

Bycatch Audits

Bycatch – the unintended capture of non-target species such as marine mammals, seabirds sea turtles, and sharks – is the biggest single threat to the sustainability of marine fisheries. SFP is working with our retail partners to determine where the risks to these species are the highest.

What is a bycatch audit?

A bycatch audit is a process to assess a retailer’s seafood sourcing to identify those fisheries that present significant risks to endangered, threatened, and protected (ETP) species.

How does it work?

Using existing data on the sustainability of a company’s source fisheries (e.g., the Ocean Disclosure Project, SFP’s Seafood Metrics system, individual company disclosures), Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) – in conjunction with Birdlife International and Whale and Dolphin Conservation and with the cooperation of the retailer – conducts a review and assessment of the retailer’s source fisheries.

The three organizations have collaborated to develop criteria to identify fisheries that could be considered high-risk for interactions with sharks, seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles.

How does it help?

As part of the review, SFP consults with the retailer to identify overlaps with its top-selling seafood items, in order to determine areas where the most impacts could be made by advancing improvements to reduce ocean wildlife bycatch.

The risk analysis is then matched with recommendations for actions that retailers can take to reduce risks to ETP species through bycatch. The risk assessment, recommendations, and other data are presented via a private report for the retailer to consider. SFP then encourages retailers to make a summary of the report public, along with some indications of practical measures they intend to take to reduce risks to ETP species.


Asda bycatch audit

“Asda is committed to sustainable seafood, and we know we need to do more to protect ocean wildlife. With SFP, we looked at the impacts of our supply chain and now have a clear idea of the improvements we need from our seafood suppliers.”

– Chris Brown, Senior Director for Sustainable Supply Chains, Asda

Completed Bycatch Audits

We have conducted bycatch audits of the following retailers. The key findings of each audit can be found on the relevant company’s Ocean Disclosure Project (ODP) Profile page.