Build better businesses toolkit

Background - 20 March, 2014
We all want to see a better fishing industry, better buying by retailers and better information for us as consumers. We can make this happen in our own communities. This toolkit is designed to help you help build better businesses. On this page you will find links to many useful documents that you can use and share as examples to show shops and restaurants how to be responsibly buyers and not contribute to oceans destruction.

The mantra for business is remove the worst, support the best, and change the rest. This means taking the worst examples of unsustainable seafood off fish-counters and menus, seeking out seafood from fisheries and farms using best-practices, and supporting projects financially and politically that are driving improvements to fisheries around the world . The information on this page will help you help the businesses bring about the changes we need.

Which fish can I recommend?

It is very hard to make recommendations on better choices as there are many ways to catch or farm a fish – some bad, some better – and so many species.  However, there are some good basic rules to choosing better seafood:

  • Avoid species that appear on Red Lists or in Seafood Guides described as Worst Choice or Avoid
  • Check out alternatives recommended in seafood guides
  • Avoid undersized fish
  • Choose local fish where possible
  • Buy from a supplier with strong commitments to sustainability

Click here for the "at a glance" reference table on which fish are most at risk and should be avoided. 

The Red List

Click here for a list of internationally important species to avoid and some graphics you can download for school and research use.

What does Sustainable mean?

Businesses need clear goals and targets. Before they will change their business plan they need to know what they are buying into. If a fishing practise is sustainable, it means that it can be maintained indefinitely without reducing the targeted species' ability to maintain its population at healthy levels, and without adversely impacting on other species within the ecosystem – including humans – by removing their food source, accidentally killing them, or damaging their physical environment.

Model Policy

First check if the business you are targeting has a sustainable seafood policy. Ask to see it. If it does, check it against this example of what Greenpeace believes is a good policy. If it doesn’t have a policy, print out this page and ask them to implement it!

A strategy for sustainable seafood

Here's how we recommend a business can start to be the change we want for the seas. Every business needs a development plan when they making change – here's one ready-made for them.

Making it happen in practice

Let's not pretend it is always easy. Determination is needed on all sides – so make sure there is a plan to succeed.




So you can make informed choices and signal what you want to see on the supermarket shelves, all seafood should be clearly labeled in detail. Here you can find out why and what the best labels can look like.


Some products are from fisheries or fish farms  judged "sustainable" by seafood certification bodies. However, Greenpeace doesn't consider any of the existing seafood certification systems to be fully credible, and some fisheries or farms they certify would meet Greenpeace's definition of sustainable. Click here to get more information.