Marine Eco-Label Japan (MEL)


On 12 December 2019, The Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) provided formal recognition of the Marine Eco-Label Japan (MEL) scheme for the scope of Aquaculture and Fisheries. On 21 September 2023, their Aquaculture Management Standard (version 2.0, 2022) and Fisheries Management Standard (version 2.0, 2018) were rebenchmarked under version 2.0 of the Global Benchmark Tool.

The Tool is underpinned by the FAO Ecolabelling Guidelines and the FAO Technical Guidelines for Aquaculture Certification. It consists of performance areas related to scheme governance, operational management (including chain of custody) and applied aquaculture farm and wild-capture fisheries audit standards.

Scheme Owner

Marine Eco-Label Japan (MEL)

Date of Recognition

21 September 2023

Scope of Recognition

Aquaculture Certification
(Aquaculture Management Standard version 2.0, 2022)

Fisheries Certification
(Fisheries Management Standard Version 2.0, 2018)

Steering Board Liaison

Han Han

Independent Experts
  • Section A/B: Josie Foster
  • Section C: John Hargreaves
  • Section D: Jose Crespo
Benchmark Committee Members
  • Anne Vanderhoeven
  • Christian von Dorrien
  • Josanna Busby
  • Matt Thompson
  • Stephen Fisher
Monitoring of continued alignment (MOCA)

Date of MOCA Completion: November 22, 2021

The Monitoring of Continued Alignment (MOCA) procedure is a periodic review process where the Scheme provides a full overview of any changes in the Scheme’s ownership, management or the standard itself. This report on the Scheme’s continued implementation is reviewed by Independent Experts, who make a recommendation on continued recognition of the Scheme.

MEL’s MOCA process was completed on 22 November 2021 and continued recognition was approved. Read the overview here 

As part of the MEL MOCA process, a 30-day Public Consultation was held. Two Stakeholders provided comments. Responses to their comments were provided in Stakeholder Response Letters:
ASC Response Letter
MSC Response Letter

The Independent Experts were:

  • Aimee Russillo, Independent Consultant, Liseed Consulting
  • John Hargreaves, Independent Consultant, Aquaculture Assessments LLC
  • Joseph DeAlteris, President, DeAlteris Associates Inc. 

The Benchmark Committee members were: 

  • Josie Foster, Director, J Foster Consulting LTD
  • Nigel Peacock, Director, Nap Fisheries & Aquatic Environment Consultant
  • Paul Tuda, Fisheries Scientist
  • Trevor Ward, Marine Ecosystems and Biodiversity Consultant
  • Jose Peiro Crespo, Independent Consultant, Naunet Fisheries Consultants


Operational Management

(including chain of custody)

Aquaculture Certification Standard

Fisheries Certification Standard