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Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS)
by Stockholm Resilience Center (Partnership)
Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS, also referred to as "Keystone Dialogues") is an initiative that, for the first time, connects the global seafood business to science, connects wild capture fisheries to aquaculture, and connects European and North American companies to Asian companies. The ambition is to lead a global transformation towards sustainable seafood production and a healthy ocean. The initiative will actively contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particular Goal 14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

The initiative is based on a scientific paper published in 2015 by sterblom, Jouffray, Folke et al. which illustrates that the largest companies in a given industry can operate similarly to keystone species in ecological communities, meaning that they can have a disproportionate effect on the structure and function of the system in which they operate. The keystone actors of global seafood control 19-40% of some of the largest and most valuable stocks and 11-16 % of the global marine catch.

The keystone actors represented in SeaBOS produced a joint statement in November 2016 which expresses their commitment to ocean stewardship. The statement outlines their concern about the current and future state of the ocean, and identifies a number of areas, which they will address together in order to actively contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The statement was signed by eight of the largest seafood companies in the world, including the two largest companies by revenues (Maruha Nichiro Corporation and Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd), two of the worlds largest tuna companies (Thai Union Group PCL and Dongwon Industries), the two largest salmon farmers (Marine Harvest ASA and Cermaq (subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation) and the two largest aquafeeds companies (Skretting subsidiary of Nutreco, and Cargill Aqua Nutrition).
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
Improve transparency and traceability in our own operations, and work together to share information and best practice
Engage in concerted efforts to help reduce IUU fishing and and eliminate any form of modern slavery in our supply chains
Reduce the use of plastics in seafood operations, and encourage global efforts to reduce plastic
Engage in science-based efforts to improve fisheries and aquaculture management and productivity through collaboration with industry, regulators and civil society
Other, please specify
New partnership with further details to be established
Staff / Technical expertise
Resources provided by member organizations, with CEO commitment and anchoring
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 May - 2020 May
Cargill, Cermaq, Dongwon, Marine Harvest, Maruha Nichiro, Nissui, Skretting, Thai Union.
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Henrik sterblom, PhD, Associate Professor, henrik.osterblom@su.se,
Stockholm, Sweden
Other SDGs
United Nations