Aquaculture & Fisheries

Commercial fishing has a significant environmental impact on the health of our oceans and fisheries and on the livelihoods of those working within the industry across the globe.

Overfishing, unsustainable feed stocks, and food waste are all challenges facing the industry which must be tackled.


Through strong, long-standing relationships we are working with our suppliers, to ensure all of our fish and seafood is responsibly sourced. We have a wide range of projects and initiatives underway, working with experts in the field. Through close cooperation we can drive positive change in a wide array of sustainability and ethical matters relating to aquaculture and fisheries. We’ve set a target to ensure that 100% of our own-brand fish and shellfish will come from third-party verified responsible sources by the end of January 2025.



Waitrose only sources fish that has been responsibly caught or farmed. This means our suppliers must only source fish from fisheries or farmed aquaculture operations that are responsibly managed. 

To be termed ‘responsible’ at Waitrose, our fish must meet the following criteria:


Fish must be:

1. A species that is not regarded as threatened or endangered. 

2. Caught using a responsible fishing method. 

3. Caught from a well-managed fishery or responsible farmed aquaculture production. 

4. Fully traceable from catch to consumer. 

5. Farmed under conditions that maximise the health & well being of the fish. 

6. Farmed under well managed conditions that ensure the long term sustainable future of the environment and community. 

7. Farmed using responsible considerations for the feed source. 


Waitrose suppliers must also ensure that fish are caught using methods that minimise by-catch of vulnerable fish and non-targeted fish species, causing minimal impact on habitats and non-targeted species such as coral, seabirds and marine mammals. We actively support fishing practices that minimise discards and avoid the capture of immature and undersize fish.


All British fishing vessels supplying Waitrose own-brand fish are in the process of adopting the Responsible Fishing Scheme which ensures responsibly sourced seafood can be fully traced across the supply chain. We voluntarily disclose a list of all our wild-caught, farmed fish and shellfish sourcing via the Ocean Disclosure Project (OPD). This is an essential step in preventing criminal activity that causes serious economic losses, undermines conservation efforts in fisheries, and damages the food security of nations and individuals.



We strongly believe that taking care of the welfare of our farmed fish is what ensures the quality of the fish we sell. Our farmed fish buying policy supports the development of sustainable aquaculture, focusing on high standards of animal welfare and minimising the impact on the environment and delicate marine ecosystems.


Our sourcing policy covers four key areas, including only sourcing fish from known and approved farms, rearing fish to the highest animal welfare using responsible feeds and feeding regimes, and respecting the environment. 


Waitrose recognises a number of independent third party standards for farmed fish including Global Gap certification, Global Aquaculture Alliance Best Aquaculture Practice for farmed fish, Aquaculture Stewardship Council and Organic standards.


Marine raw materials used for the production of Waitrose fish feeds must come from managed fisheries, or be produced from trimmings from fish caught for human consumption.


We expect all wild caught species used for the production of fish meal and oil to meet the objectives of the Waitrose Responsible Seafood (Fisheries) Sourcing Programme to ensure that we do not source fish feed ingredients from unsustainable sources. All marine ingredients used in the production of Waitrose salmon, trout and halibut are from MSC or MarinTrust certified stocks. 


The use of non-marine ingredients in feed diets is permitted under the Waitrose Fish Feed policies. However the inclusion of vegetable protein ingredients must be of a non GMO origin and inclusion rates must not compromise animal welfare, or the eating quality and nutritional value of the final raw product.