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FOS Friend of the Sea

Friend of the Sea certification guarantees the quality of seafood and simplifies aquaculture activities as regards sustainable fishing and breeding.

This certification is based on the European Union Common Fisheries Policy which comprises a series of tools safeguarding the natural renewability of seafood, the marine ecosystem and sustainable fishing management by operators from all member states.

This process concerns all the operators in the chain, such as fishing companies, aquaculture facilities, factories and the catering chain.


  • Diversification of marine species, associating this with a sustainability message
  • guarantee of fishing sustainability towards large retailers and buyers
  • documentation of the origin of fish caught or bred in respect of the environment, fish stock and threatened or protected species
  • demonstration of the commitment of operators towards environmental sustainability issues and legislative conformity.


RINA SERVICES has performed over sixty FoS audits all over the world on various types and species of fish, such as:
  • Fishing: Pacific salmon in Alaska and Kamchatka, oily fish in Croatia and Morocco, clams in Turkey, molluscs and shellfish in Scandinavia;
  • Aquaculture: sea bass, gilthead bream and umbrine in Italy, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and France, sturgeon and trout in Italy, mussels in Norway;
  • Supply chain: production of fish oil in the United States and Scandinavia, processing of oily fish, tuna and salmon in Morocco, Italy, Croatia and Poland.


Applicable to:
  • fishing,
  • aquaculture,
  • flour, fish oil, feedstuff,
  • production, distribution, catering companies.

The main requirements for fishing include:
  • protection of over-exploited species
  • limitation of waste
  • reduction of impacts on the seabed
  • observance of regulations (TAC, no IUU)
  • emissions reduction policy


For aquaculture:

  • safeguard of the surrounding environment
  • limitation of escapes and accidental fishing
  • observance of water quality parameters
  • exclusion of antifouling, GMO's, growth hormones
  • gradual reduction in carbon dioxide emissions

Audit team: 
auditors and professionals in the seafood sector (biologists, fish vets, experts in fishing methods and regulations).


How credible is FoS certification?
FoS requirements reflect FAO guidelines for the ecolabelling of seafood. Friend of the Sea​ only issues certification to products that are not derived from over-exploited stock.

Is this certification recognised by the organised distribution channel?
FoS is appreciated and recognised by many international retailers such as: Manor, Selex, Great Food Hall, Coop Italia, Conad, Metro and Morisons.

Are many documents required to obtain certification?
FoS certification is based on exacting audits that analyse the operating methods of organisations and their observance of regulations; therefore, the audit itself constitutes the documentation required by law.
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