Know Your Seafood: What These Common Labels Mean

While shopping for seafood at your local grocery store, you may have noticed that some fish are labeled with images or certifications. Since these labels can be confusing, we’ve created a guide to some of the logos and terminology you may see on a label and what they mean. Keep reading to learn about how knowing your labels can help you make informed and sustainable seafood decisions.

Best Aquaculture Practices Certified

best aquaculture practices certified seafood

Seafood from Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)-certified facilities carry this white and blue label to show that they are a socially responsible and environmentally friendly seafood choice.

This Global Aquaculture Alliance-sponsored certification program involves ensuring a seafood processing center meets certification standards by passing a third-party audit, presenting a minimum of three months of specified traceability records and the payment of yearly program fees based on the annual seafood production volume.

When you buy seafood from stores such as Kroger or HEB that has this blue BAP label, you can be confident that the seafood was raised responsibly and it caused no harm to the environment.

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise Recommended Seafood Label

This black and white label from Ocean Wise means that the seafood has been recommended as a sustainable choice because it meets Ocean Wise’s strict criteria. Ocean Wise only recommends seafood that is abundant, resilient to fishing pressures, well managed, and harvested in ways that limit damage to the environment through methods that ensure limited bycatch.

Next time you’re buying seafood in Winn Dixie, Walmart or your other favorite grocer, keep an eye out for this valuable certification.

Aquaculture Stewardship Council

Aquaculture Stewardship Council ASC Certified

Seafood that bears the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification label comes from fish farms that meet the extensive standards the ASC has for responsible aquaculture. By buying seafood that has been certified by the ASC, you can be sure that your fish comes from a farm that limits any hampering impacts on the environment and community. The Council also adds their seal of approval to companies that demonstrate social responsibility in the workforce.

You can find ASC-certified seafood products at grocery stores including BJ’s, Fairway and Giant Eagle.

British Retail Council

British Retail Council BRC Certification Seafood

The British Retail Council (BRC) is the world’s biggest provider of safety and quality standards for the manufacturing, packaging, storing and distributing of food. When you buy seafood that has been certified by the BRC, you can rest assured that you’re buying seafood that is of a consistent high quality, has been produced safely, and has passed rigorous testing.

Next time you’re shopping for fish, keep an eye out for seafood that is labeled with one of the above certifications. By buying seafood that has been certified as environmentally friendly and of good quality, you’ll not only know that you’re buying a delicious product, but you’ll also feel good knowing you’ve made a sustainable decision and are helping keep seafood plentiful for the generations to come.

Photo credits: Symbiot /, Best Aquaculture Practices, Ocean Wise, Aquaculture Stewardship Council, British Retail Council