ABOUT SeaBOS

The mission of SeaBOS is to lead a global transformation towards sustainable seafood production and a healthy ocean.

SeaBOS is unique because it is the first time ten of the world’s largest seafood companies collaborate with science to implement a joint vision to develop more sustainable seafood production and improved ocean health. The initiative is also unique because it connects wild capture fisheries, feed producers and aquaculture businesses across Asia, Europe, and North America.

The collaboration has been coordinated by the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University with key scientific partners from the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, the University of Lancaster, and the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions. The scientific work is independently funded by the Walton Family Foundation, the Moore Foundation, and the Packard Foundation.

Together, SeaBOS companies represent over 10% of the world’s seafood production and comprise over 600 subsidiary companies. SeaBOS members include ten of the largest seafood companies in the world: Maruha Nichiro Corporation, Nissui, Thai Union, Mowi, Dongwon Industries, Cermaq, Cargill Aqua Nutrition, Nutreco/Skretting, CP Foods, and Kyokuyo.

HOW IT ALL STARTED

The starting point for SeaBOS dates back to 2012 when researchers at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) at Stockholm University, the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics and the Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere program (GEDB) at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, began research on the largest actors in the seafood industry. Decades ago, scientists had discovered “keystone species” in the ocean – species with a disproportionate effect on the structure and function of marine ecosystems. The first question the SRC-led research team asked was: are there also “keystone actors” within the seafood industry?

The answer came in a scientific paper published in 2015 demonstrating that just 13 companies controlled 19-40% of some of the largest and most valuable stocks, and 11-16 % of the global marine catch. These keystone actors were defined as large corporations that (1) dominate global production revenues and volumes within a particular sector; (2) control globally relevant segments of production; (3) connect ecosystems globally through subsidiaries; and (4) influence global governance processes and institutions.

The research team’s next question was whether these keystone actors could be mobilised to lead a global transformation for ocean stewardship. After two years of bilateral contacts between scientists and company representatives, eight of the world’s largest seafood companies agreed to an initial meeting in November 2016 to explore transformative risks and opportunities for the global seafood industry. This was the very first keystone dialogue and it resulted in CEOs of these leading companies publicly committing to a vision and set of shared commitments to ocean stewardship. This laid the foundation for a new global science-business initiative: Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS).

Since then, two more companies have joined the Initiative along with annual CEO-level talks between the companies and the scientists.

SeaBOS timeline

2015
Governments agree on SDGs 2015
Science-based solutions
Data collection and analysis to identify Keystone Actors; bilateral company visits; co-design to create dialogues.
2016
Soneva Dialogue

Soneva Dialogue

NOV 2016 | Transformative risks and opportunities

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SeaBOS Initiative launched
2017
Stockholm Dialogue

Stockholm Dialogue

MAY 2017 | Advancing the SeaBOS initiative

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JUN 2017
First UN Ocean Conference
Science-based solutions
SeaBOS commitments and task forces in operation; underpinning research on issues; identify knowledge and impact partners; survey company practice and identify best practice; stewardship workshop.
2018
Karuizawa Dialogue

Karuizawa Dialogue

SEPT 2018 | Commitments to action

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2019
JUN 2019
G20 and IUU Japanese legislation
SeaBOS Fundraising Foundation launched and Secretariat established
Phuket Dialogue

Phuket Dialogue

SEPT 2019 | Global connectivity, consolidating and accelerating change

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2020
Science-based solutions
Public commitments to time-bound targets and science-based climate goals.
Virtual Dialogue

Virtual Dialogue

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DEC 2020
High Level Panel Report
2021
Science-based solutions
Committed to no IUU fishing or modern slavery in own operations; roadmap for Antibiotics; endangered species strategy agreed
NOV 2021
COP26 UN Food Systems Summit
Virtual Dialogue

Virtual Dialogue

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2022
Science-based solutions
Focus on strategic partnership, reporting and awareness builing for transformative change
JUN 2022
UN Ocean Conference 2022


TIME-BOUND GOALS

In October 2020, a set of time-bound goals for the initiative were agreed by all CEOs, with reporting on the first round of goals expected in October 2021.

GOAL 1

Eliminate IUU fishing and forced, bonded and child labour in our operations– and implement measures to address those issues in their supply chains – with public reporting on progress in 2022 and 2025.

GOAL 2

Extend the collaboration with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative to solve the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear; and combine to clean up plastics pollution from our coasts and waterways.

GOAL 3

Agree on a strategy for reducing impacts on endangered species and the use of antibiotics.

GOAL 4

Set CO2 emissions reduction goals and reporting approaches from each company.

The initiative has a dedicated secretariat led by a Managing Director, and fully funded by contributions by the member companies themselves. To ensure scientific integrity, from the earliest stages of the initiative, none of the scientists have received any financial support from the member companies or the Secretariat.

Meet our CEOs

A fundament for future business

September 20, 2022

You don’t need to be on land to saw off the branch you’re sitting on. Emptying the ocean for fish will be the end of the seafood industry. President Makoto Inoue of Kyokuyo Co.,...

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Blending personal passion with collective learning

August 18, 2022

For Helene Ziv-Douki, President of Cargill Aqua Nutrition, SeaBOS exemplifies the saying that alone you can go fast, but together you can go further The ten members of the SeaBO...

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Why change is gonna come

June 21, 2022

The CEOs from SeaBOS are sharing their visions and ambitions for the future of the seafood industry, and the role that SeaBOS plays. For the current Chair of SeaBOS, Therese Log...

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To succeed, alignment is crucial

April 25, 2022

For Thiraphong Chansiri, President and CEO of Thai Union, bringing together the world’s largest seafood companies to find solutions to the industry’s most intractable problems w...

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An eye-opener and a changemaker

March 11, 2022

We asked the CEOs from each company to share their vision and ambitions about SeaBOS and the future of their industry. For Dr. Myoung-Woo Lee, CEO of Dongwon Industries, the ini...

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Why change needs to start from within

February 8, 2022

For Cermaq CEO Geir Molvik, the seafood industry has a responsibility to do our best to meet global challenges SeaBOS is unique because it is the first time ten of the world’s l...

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