INCOFISH Seafood Guide
The INCOFISH Seafood Guide uses a combination of exploitation status, resilience to fishing, and percentage of by-catch generated by a fishery to determine the recommendation for a given seafood. Exploitation status (undeveloped, developing, fully developed, overfished, or collapsed) is derived from time series of catches by area as published annually by FAO. For more detailed information about how exploitation status is determined, see Froese and Kesner-Reyes, 2002, Impact of fishing on the abundance of marine species, ICES CM 2002/L:12. Resilience to overfishing (very high, high, medium, low, or very low) is determined from life history traits of the respective species as available in FishBase (www.fishbase.org). By-catch generated by a fishery is the percentage (by weight) of the catch that is caught incidentally and subsequently discarded. Also, certain fishing gear types, like bottom trawls, typically generate more by-catch than others, so if such a gear type is typically used in a given fishery, then the recommendation takes this into consideration in the absence of more specific by-catch data. The following table shows which combinations of exploitation status, resilience and by-catch result in which recommendation (enjoy, questionable, or avoid). For a given species these recommendations may be different in different fishing areas.

Exploitation Status

Resilience

By-catch weight (%)

By-catch gear

INCOFISH Seafood Guide recommendation

Undeveloped

Medium or High

>40

 

Avoid

Undeveloped

Low

 

bottom trawl

Avoid

Undeveloped

Very Low

>40

 

Avoid

Undeveloped

Very Low

 

bottom trawl

Avoid

Undeveloped

Medium or High

 

 

Enjoy

Undeveloped

Medium or High

<20

 

Enjoy

Undeveloped

Low

<20

 

Enjoy

Undeveloped

Medium or High

>20 and <40

 

Questionable

Undeveloped

Medium or High

 

bottom trawl

Questionable

Undeveloped

Low

>40

 

Questionable

Undeveloped

Low

>20 and <40

 

Questionable

Undeveloped

Low

 

 

Questionable

Undeveloped

Very Low

 

 

Questionable

Developing

Medium or High

>40

 

Avoid

Developing

Low

>40

 

Avoid

Developing

Low

 

bottom trawl

Avoid

Developing

Very Low

>40

 

Avoid

Developing

Very Low

 

bottom trawl

Avoid

Developing

Medium or High

 

 

Enjoy

Developing

Medium or High

<20

 

Enjoy

Developing

Low

<20

 

Enjoy

Developing

Medium or High

>20 and <40

 

Questionable

Developing

Medium or High

 

bottom trawl

Questionable

Developing

Low

>20 and <40

 

Questionable

Developing

Low

 

 

Questionable

Developing

Very Low

 

 

Questionable

Fully exploited

Medium or High

>40

 

Avoid

Fully exploited

Low

>40

 

Avoid

Fully exploited

Low

 

bottom trawl

Avoid

Fully exploited

Very Low

>40

 

Avoid

Fully exploited

Very Low

 

bottom trawl

Avoid

Fully exploited

Very Low

 

 

Avoid

Fully exploited

Medium or High

 

 

Enjoy

Fully exploited

Medium or High

<20

 

Enjoy

Fully exploited

Medium or High

 

bottom trawl

Questionable

Fully exploited

Medium or High

>20 and <40

 

Questionable

Fully exploited

Low

 

 

Questionable

Fully exploited

Low

<20

 

Questionable

Fully exploited

Low

>20 and <40

 

Questionable

Overfished

Any

Any

Any

Avoid

Collapsed

Any

Any

Any

Avoid

 
The INCOFISH Seafood Guide was developed by Rainer Froese, Lotta Järnmark, Josephine Rius and Amanda Stern-Pirlot.