Sustainable seafood in Japan

A key challenge for the seafood sector

is to deliver more healthy seafood in a both environmentally and socially sustainable way. Certification schemes and eco-labelling are typical approaches which have grown popular in North America and Europe but less so in Asia. As Asia is a major (and growing) global player, both in terms of consumption and export, it is crucial to investigate seafood sustainability from an Asian perspective.

This project investigates sustainability schemes in the seafood sector can be tailored to better suit different countries, using Japan as an Asian case study.


This project asks

  1. What are the key differences between seafood markets and sustainability thinking in Asian and European country contexts? 
  2. What are the motivations and barriers of actors along the supply chain to move towards sustainability in these contexts? 
  3.  Are there alternatives to seafood certification schemes that are better suited to different countries?

Japan is rarely researched in terms of seafood sustainability approaches, but has high levels of seafood consumption and cultural connections to the sea. Japan will be compared to Sweden to investigate differences in seafood markets, with a novel focus on mid-supply chain actors rather than consumers.

Co-investigators: Hiroe Ishihara, University of Tokyo and Abigayil Blandon, Stockholm Resilience Centre.

Funded by Formas


Project leader


Malin Jonell

PhD, Research Fellow

Research for a more sustainable seafood sector

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