Aquaculture Assessment Criteria

AMCS GoodFish Aquaculture Assessment Criteria now open for stakeholder submissions.


King Salmon Farmed New Zealand
IMAGE: King Salmon

Aquaculture Assessment Criteria

Farmed seafood is assessed against three overarching criteria that define how much of an impact the method of farming has on the marine environment:

1. Use of marine resources

2. Risk to wildlife and wild fisheries

3. Impacts on the natural environment

4. Management and effectiveness of management measures

Within each of these categories, a number of sub-criteria are used to provide a more refined analysis of farming impacts. A sustainability rating (green, amber or red) is assigned for each of these sub-criteria and the final rank is produced as a result of either the cumulative impacts of the whole farming process, or is determined due to a specific significant issue. For example juvenile southern bluefin tuna are caught in the wild and then grown to market size in ranching operations; as the wild caught tuna are juveniles caught from an overfished wild population, farmed southern bluefin tuna is ranked ‘Say No’.

AMCS has taken a global review of seafood guide assessment methodologies and criteria, including those from the UK, America, Canada and New Zealand. This review process was used to inform, review and update the methodology we use to assess the sustainability of Australian and imported farmed and wild caught seafood.

The Assessment Process
Assessments have been conducted on the major species of seafood caught and farmed in Australia, as well as the main seafood imported into Australia. The individual fishery or farming method is assessed against the AMCS criteria, which results in an overall rating of the following:

AMCS GoodFish Aquaculture Assessment Criteria now open for stakeholder submissions

Our 2020 Draft AMCS GoodFish Aquaculture  Assessment Criteria are now open for stakeholder comment. We welcome submissions from industry, government, academia, NGOs and the interested public. We anticipate our finalised assessment criteria will be released in Q1 2021.

The Consultation Draft can be found here.

Please direct your submission to, with ‘Comment on AMCS assessment criteria’ in the subject line. The submission period will close at 5pm AWST on 5/2/2021.

See Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, a free app available on IOS and Android, to help you decide when next you are choosing to buy seafood.

The Australian Marine Conservation Society’s GoodFish project is a community of chefs, restaurants, fishers and wholesalers who work towards supporting healthier oceans.

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