Supply Chain Roundtable

Global Squid

Read the Squid Sector Sustainability Update 2021.

The Global Squid Supply Chain Roundtable (GS SR) focuses on engaging supply chains to launch and implement improvement initiatives to support the long-term sustainability of squid fisheries. The SR is composed of European and North American importers and buyers of squid sourced mainly from Asia-Pacific and South American squid fisheries.


Squid fisheries occur both within the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of coastal countries and across international waters. Progress toward improved sustainability performance in the main squid fisheries worldwide is limited by weaknesses in science-based management; illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and uncontrolled expansion of fishing effort; and widely reported labor and human rights abuses.

Companies involved in the trading and processing of squid products can play a key role in addressing these challenges, by preventing IUU-sourced squid products from entering their supply chains. To do so, companies need to implement better purchasing practices, regularly evaluate supply chain risks, and adhere to due diligence procedures to avoid the risk of product mixing that results from the complex nature of squid supply chains.

See a list of all SR members.

Q4 2023 Update:

  • SR participant companies have agreed on a procedure to disengage participants that fail to meet the conditions of the SR or uphold the commitments established in the MoU.
  • New and updated squid profiles are available on FishSource.
  • The SR will update its 2024 workplan in January to reinforce transparency.
  • The SR is in conversations with other experts to initiate HR impact assessments in specific geographies during 2024.
  • In December 2024, new companies applied to become SR participants starting in January 2024.
  • The IUU Squid Fishing Resource Library includes new research papers that highlight a risk of mislabeling and seafood fraud in seafood products made of cephalopods.

Fisheries Updates

Argentine shortfin squid - Illex argentinus

  • The CAPA FIP, initiated by a group of SR participants, is active on
    • CAPA presented the next steps for the FIP during the Conxemar trade show in Vigo, Spain. The FIP coordinators have invited current participants to renew the MoU and have invited new companies to join the FIP, in order to contribute financially to FIP implementation.
    • As part of its commitment to transparency, CAPA presented a document that compiles information about the fleet and the vessels included in the FIP. This information will be available in the FIP profile.

Jumbo Flying squid - Dosidicus gigas

Fisheries in MSC full assessment:

New MSC-certified fisheries

Indian squid - Uroteuthis duvauceli

Addressing Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) Fishing and Human Rights Abuses in Squid Fisheries

The GS SR adopted a new strategy in 2023 to address the risks of IUU fishing and human rights abuses in squid fisheries and global supply chains. For 2024, the SR participants will focus on four key working areas:

  1. Governance and participation: The GS SR is pre-competitive industry alliance, where participants are aligned on sustainability and responsibility principles and have made public commitments to adjust their purchasing policies to avoid IUU fishing products and human rights abuses in their supply chains. The participants, in collaboration with the secretariat, develop the criteria and operation of the group, endorsed by a MoU. These criteria, as well as the operation of the group will be reviewed periodically to ensure effectiveness and good governance of the SR.
  2. Transparency and traceability: Global squid supply chains are highly complex. With few exceptions, squid is harvested in fishing areas with weak regulations and lack of enforcement. Full traceability of a product, from the final buyer back to the fishing vessel, is vital to eliminate the risks surrounding lack of product origin information. This traceability requires a level of transparency by both management authorities and companies. The SR will focus on 1) improving and publicizing participating companies’ purchasing policies, 2) supporting the development of publicly available sustainability assessments of priority fisheries via FishSource, 3) identifying traceability schemes, tools, and initiatives that can help companies improve their own traceability, and 4) conducting and implementing pilots in key fisheries to improve global transparency and traceability. SR participants will also work to mobilize management authorities to improve or
    strengthen the implementation of import control schemes.
  3. Science based management: Although squids are important contributors to healthy marine ecosystems, little is known about the biology and abundance of the main squid stocks. As a result, some of the main commercial species are being fished at unsustainable levels. The SR will advocate with regulators to improve the science base and management frameworks at both national and regional levels by 1) encouraging the development of robust stock assessments in priority fisheries, 2) expressing support for the ratification of international agreements that address identified weaknesses in science and management, 3) promoting the adoption of co-management principles in artisanal squid fisheries within coastal country EEZs, and 4) supporting the initiation and adequate progress of fishery improvement projects (FIPs).
  4. Human rights due diligence: Recent evidence has highlighted rampant IUU fishing by distant water fleets (DWFs) in squid fisheries. In addition to risks of overfishing and threats to the health of marine ecosystems, this increased fishing effort by highly subsidized DWFs exacerbates issues of social justice. DWF catches compete – both in the water and in the market – with the catches of non-subsidized and often institutionally marginalized artisanal fleets, for whom squid is their main source of livelihood, further increasing the pressure on this resource. These artisanal fleets often operate in the informal economy and are subject to corruption and abuse from authorities, criminal groups, informal moneylenders, and middlemen. In addition, human rights abuses in squid fisheries and global value chains – including modern slavery, bonded labor, human trafficking, child labor, unfair remuneration, indecent working conditions, and lack of gender equality – have become an increasing concern for industry in the last few years. Media reports have exposed exploitative labor practices and human rights abuses, particularly on fishing vessels operating in the high seas. The SR participants will work on a clear and tangible corporate social responsibility policy – which will be posted on their corporate websites – by 1) identifying appropriate tools and schemes to conduct HR due diligence in their businesses, 2) cooperating with experts to develop HR assessments in major squid fishing and processing sites, and 3) implementing purchasing procedures based on recommendations issued from the assessments.

Public Statement on Squid IUU Issues in Global Supply Chains

SR Participation Requirements

  • Any company interested in participating in the GS SR must apply via email to the current SFP GS SR lead.
  • Participants are required to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU). Current participants are in the process of signing the MoU, and new participants will be required to sign upon joining.
  • Companies will publicly endorse and recognize the Public Statement on Squid IUU Issues in Global Supply Chains, and will participate in activities and initiatives to address the challenges identified.
  • Participants are encouraged to attend regular meetings, and are required to collaborate with SFP and experts whenever needed.
  • Each company is expected to make an initial contribution of USD 3,000.
  • An annual contribution will be approved in order to secure sufficient funding for SR coordination, secretariat, and strategy implementation.

Join This Roundtable

To join this Supply Chain Roundtable or for more information, please contact Carmen Gonzalez Valles or call SFP at 1-808-726-2582.