Waitrose & Partners only sources responsibly caught or farmed fish.

We're fishing responsibly

All of our own-label fish is
responsibly caught or farmed

All the fish that is included in Waitrose own-label products has been responsibly caught or farmed. This means our suppliers must only source fish from fisheries or farmed aquaculture operations that are responsibly managed. We have been working to this strategy for over 15 years. 

Waitrose & Partners recognise a number of independent third party standards for wild caught fish including the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation based Responsible Fisheries Management.

MSC Fish counter award

Fish counter of the year

The MSC named our fish counters the best in the UK for the second
year in a row. The MSC is a world-leading body for responsible fishing
and helps protect oceans by championing seafood caught by sustainable
fishing practices.

Waitrose & Partners was recognised for the largest variety of MSC labelled products available
at our fresh fish counters. We only source seafood that is responsibly caught. This means better quality fish and seafood for our customers and we're helping to safeguard fishing supplies in
the future.

Read more about the 2019 MSC UK awards here >

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


Fishing methods

Waitrose suppliers must ensure that fish are caught using fishing 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, sea birds and marine mammals. We support fishing practices that minimise discards and avoid the capture of immature and undersize fish.

Traceability and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing

We only sell fish that is responsibily caught, meaning not only better quality fish but also secure fish stocks for generations to come. 

Suppliers of Waitrose fish must demonstrate a high level of traceability for all its fish and seafood.
Traceability, as well as providing food safety, helps to minimise the risk of illegally caught fish entering the Waitrose supply chain. 

This as an essential step in preventing this criminal activity that causes serious economic losses, undermines conservation efforts in fisheries and damages the food security of nations and individuals.

"The supply of fully traceable, responsible seafood is critical to the Waitrose business. In today's climate of rising consumer demand, diminishing wild fish stocks and with issues of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, full traceability from catch to our customers is of vital importance," says Melissa Tillotson, Partner and Fisheries & Aquaculture Manager


Aquaculture policies

We strongly believe that taking care of the welfare of our farmed fish is what ensures our quality of the fish we sell. Sustainability and due protection of the environment are paramount. 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 4 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.


We sell a wide range of farmed fish from responsible farming systems including Atlantic Salmon, brown trout, rainbow trout, King prawns, Tiger prawns, carp, mussels, oysters, halibut, sea bass and sea bream.

Fish Feed and Feed development

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

We expect all wild caught species used for the production of fish meal and oil would meet the objectives of the Waitrose Responsible Seafood (Fisheries) Sourcing Programme to ensure that Waitrose does not source fish feed ingredients from unsustainable sources, and that they are consistent with Waitrose Responsible fish and Shellfish Sourcing policy.

Waitrose are supporters of MarinTrust, independent third-party audit and certification programme. Currently all the 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. (For example it is our policy to ensure that our salmon and trout are fed on a diet that ensures 1.75g/100g of EPA/DHA is in the finished product to deliver the health and nutritional benefits that our customers expect).

Watch our fresh line-caught tuna being caught in the Maldives



To find out more about what responsibly sourced means, visit the Sustainable Seafood Coalition.