Codes of Conduct

Sustainable Seafood Coalition
Sustainable Seafood Coalition
Sustainable Seafood Coalition

The SSC Codes of Conduct are voluntary agreements on responsible sourcing and labelling, developed by SSC members.

They are tools for change and contribute to the SSC’s vision that all seafood sold is from sustainable sources. The Codes represent commitments SSC members have agreed to adhere to, irrespective of size or sector, and set a precedent for industry best practice. The SSC Codes are without prejudice to national, international or other laws or regulations.

The Labelling Code

The SSC aims to create harmonised seafood labelling that will provide consumers with accurate information on the provenance and sustainability of the fish or seafood. The Voluntary Code of Conduct on Environmental Claims is designed to achieve this.

The Sourcing Code

A primary goal of the SSC is to ensure that consumers can have confidence that the seafood they are buying meets or exceeds minimum standards of responsibility. The Voluntary Code of Conduct on Environmentally Responsible Fish and Seafood Sourcing is designed to achieve this.

How were the Codes developed?

While the Codes were under development, the process began with a working group meeting on the Code topic (e.g. a labelling working group meeting). ClientEarth, as secretariat of the SSC at the time, would present some initial ideas for discussion at this first working group meeting and facilitate a discussion to outline what direction the Code should take.

SSC members and non-member experts were then invited to share their specialist knowledge at working-group meetings. Non-member experts included government officials, NGO representatives, academics and non-departmental public bodies.

How are the Codes implemented?

All members of the SSC have committed to implementing the SSC Codes, where they are applicable. This means translating the requirements of the codes into their business practices. Members have a year to implement the codes after signing up (unless agreed otherwise).

The SSC Guidance document has been developed to support members in the implementation of the Codes.

An independent Implementation Report is conducted and published every three years to assess the effectiveness of the SSC voluntary pre-competitive collaboration model and to monitor the consistency with which member commitments to the Codes are being met.