GSSI’S public-private partnership with FAO

GSSI has worked in close partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and its member states, since its inception to operationalize and champion internationally agreed guidelines and instruments in the seafood sector.

Download FAO code of conduct for responsible fisheries

Promoting international guidelines for the seafood sector

The GSSI Global Benchmark Tool assesses seafood certification schemes, both aquaculture and wild caught, against the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, the FAO Guidelines for Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine/Inland Capture Fisheries and the FAO Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification. The adoption of the Tool is contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 targets on life below water for which FAO is the custodian agency.

GSSI is now drawing on ILO Conventions and Recommendations, UN Guiding Principles and the FAO’s developing guidance on social responsibility in seafood value chains to inform the criteria for SSCI’s seafood-specific social compliance benchmark.

The GSSI global partnership also reaches out to FAO member states at events worldwide, including the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) and the Sub-Committees on Fish Trade and Aquaculture.


“GSSI was established to develop a benchmark to assess seafood certification schemes, both aquaculture and wild caught, against FAO’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and FAO Ecolabelling Guidelines. The resultant Global benchmark Tool has proven very successful in providing confidence in certified seafood and promoting improvement of certification schemes. We now look forward to exploring how else the GSSI partnership can drive global seafood sustainability forward.”


– Audun Lem, GSSI Steering Board member and Deputy Director of the Policy and Resources Division in the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, FAO

The FAO Guidelines upon which the Tool is based: