The New England Aquarium investigates the populations, biology, management and environmental impacts of both fished and farmed species, down to the level of individual stocks or farms. Only after completing this rigorous research do we make purchasing recommendations for our sustainable seafood partners.

Wild-caught Species

Most wild fisheries are made of numerous stocks, or individual populations. For each species recommendation, the Aquarium considers individual stock health and management, habitat impacts and the risk of bycatch.

The Aquarium employs a variety of sources to complete each species recommendation, including government, industry and scientific representatives and publications. Following data collection, we use our in-house decision-ranking tool to analyze and assign a sustainability rank based upon environmental impact to each individual stock . The final report summarizes this information and provides detailed purchasing recommendations.

Farm-raised Species

Aquaculture practices for each species may vary dramatically from one farm or location to another. For each species recommendation, the Aquarium considers individual and industry-wide farm management practices, environmental outputs and waste, the impacts on other species, the health of the farmed fish and the type of feed used.

For each farm-raised species, the Aquarium begins by defining a set of benchmarks related to potential environmental impacts. The Aquarium then collects data from individual farms, conducting site visits and interviews as necessary. Following data collection, we use our in-house decision-ranking tool to analyze and assign a sustainability rank based upon environmental impact to each farm. The final report summarizes this information and provides detailed purchasing recommendations.