The ability of fish ecolabels to promote a change in the sustainability awareness

Marcella Giacomarra, Maria Crescimanno, Demetris Vrontis, Lluís Miret Pastor, Antonino Galati

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Researchers, environmentalists, as well as fisheries and retailers, have been focusing their attention on the design, use and effects that fish ecolabels have on sustainability. The fish processing industry and large retailers have rapidly adopted several market-based standards, with consequences for two major stakeholders: fishermen and consumers. Although the standards have shown rather positive results, from the perspectives of marine biodiversity conservation, the fish industry and trade, it is not clear how they are able to support a change in people's awareness about sustainability. For this reason, the present work reviews and analyses the literature, produced in the last ten years, regarding two international, private and voluntary ecolabels in the fish industry: FOS and MSC. The results confirm the relevant role these ecolabels are playing in promoting awareness about sustainable fish, describing the terms of this ongoing change and also proposing new insights from the literature to further reinforce this process. In particular, a multi-stakeholder approach is suggested for the production side so as to better exploit the sustainable potential of the system inaugurated by the ecolabel, while, for the consumption side to further spread knowledge about marine stock status and ecolabels’ meaning and scope, which would accelerate the ongoing process.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number104292
    JournalMarine Policy
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


    • Fish
    • Friend of the Sea
    • Marine stewardship council
    • Sustainability awareness
    • Systematic review


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