The scoring matrix is found in the “risk assessment methods and guidance document”. Risk assessments can be completed in MS Excel and based upon the following types of evidence, with sources fully referenced:
Not at the moment. A resource is currently in development by Monterey Bay Aquarium, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, and Liberty Shared, and we will share the link when this is live.
Profiles will be reviewed annually, and information updated if necessary.
Gear risks will be taken into account in Section 2.3 of the risk assessment, irrespective of whether a species is assessed using the Productivity Susceptibility Analysis (Pathway A) or Full Stock Assessment (Pathway B). At this stage the gear risk reflects the impacts of the riskiest fishing method, as for most buyers in Hong Kong it will be difficult to ascertain what gear was used to capture the fish with any degree of confidence. If HKSSC members can identify further information direct from suppliers, such as gear type, this can work towards lowering the overall risk rating for their internal due diligence purposes. Differentiation of gear risks is certainly something we will look at in more depth for the next phase of the project. To more accurately determine gear risk, we encourage users of this website to provide clear information on the gear types and sea area being fished, to enable us to better assess gear risks with respect to bycatch and habitat impacts.
The risk assessment score reflects the criteria specified in the risk assessment method which is aligned with the HKSSC Sourcing Code of Conduct. There could be numerous reasons why the score differs to similar profiles on other websites, for example, a different method is used that reflects the values of the scheme owner, or the scale or scope of the assessment are slightly different. If you have any concerns on how a profile has been scored please get in touch with the website administrator.
We strive to ensure the accuracy of all our assessments. The initial assessments have been conducted by fisheries / aquaculture experts, who have specialist knowledge of species common to the region and / or seafood trade. We aim to ensure that profiles are peer-reviewed by a specialist with expert knowledge on the biology and production risks of the species. When this has not been possible, we have noted this at the top of each website profile and welcome specialists to contact us to review the profile. If you have any concerns on the accuracy of the information please get in touch with the website administrator.
For the fisheries risk assessment a data limited method has been developed, that entails a modified version of a Productivity Susceptibility Analysis (PSA) for the South East Asia region. If there are knowledge gaps these will be noted in the assessment. The aquaculture risk assessment has been developed to take into account information across seven risks factors. If there is not enough information to reliably assess a given risk factor, this will be noted in the assessment.
The risk assessment ratings are derived from a fishery and aquaculture risk assessment method that can be found here. The risk assessment scoring criteria have been developed to align with the risk ratings defined in the HKSSC Sourcing Code. For aquaculture species profiles, we have provided a baseline risk assessment for the key production countries to act as a starting point for HKSSC members to help inform their farm level audits.
Yes, this is the intention, but we will provide a period for feedback from the HKSSC members on the initial profiles before completing any translation.
The creation of new profiles is based on requests from HKSSC members, and approval from a Technical Oversight Committee. Please consider joining the HKSSC if you want to influence the development of new content on the website.
The HKSSC Sourcing Code recommends that for high risk fisheries the member should only source with appropriate engagement and monitoring of progress. If a species is listed as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered on the IUCN red list or is considered threatened in the national (source country) legislation AND the fisheries is considered high risk then the Member should stop sourcing until an effective improvement plan (including monitoring) has been established and the risk rating has been reduced to medium. Any CITES II listed fish should be sourced legally with relevant permits. For farmed seafood, HKSSC Sourcing Code recommends the member to conduct an audit of the farmed product source using a good aquaculture standard or code of practice and that all required actions identified to correct non-compliance should be communicated with the supplier and the timescale for this agreed. For critical non-conformance, such as one that would affect legal compliance, the fish should not be sourced until corrective measures have been put in place. Given that the farmed products risk ratings on this site are based on general findings related to the country profile and not specific to a particular farm or supplier, these findings can be used by HKSSC Members and others to identify potential risk areas that can form part of their supplier engagement. These country profiles could also be used to initiate an Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP).
Species scored a low risk will either be resilient to overfishing and/ or come from a well-managed fishery. In the case of aquaculture, low risk will mean that production is covered by a third-party certification scheme or the nature of the activity means it is low impact across all risk factors. Please see the risk assessment method for exact definitions. Seafood sustainability is a complex subject, for species scored a low risk in the assessment there may still be risks for you to consider as a buyer. For example, illegal or unreported fishing and supply chain traceability risks, the carbon footprint of the production method, air miles involved in transportation, treatment of workers in the supply-chain, food safety risks etc.
The risk assessment profiles have been developed to make accessing information as straightforward as possible. The risk assessments have been undertaken for the capture / production of a species at a country level, or sea area (in the case of tuna species). Each website profile contains general information on the species biology and fisheries, and the general factors that may make a species risky. Country risks are then scored as ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ risk, according to the risk assessment method, and a summary provided. Links are provided to the full risk assessment. The website information is intended as a starting point to help buyers with their due diligence. Supplier questions are also provided for each profile, to provide a prompt for the key risk considerations a buyer may want to ask their supplier.
Contact the HKSSC secretariat at http://hksustainableseafoodcoalition.org/contact-us/
The Hong Kong Seafood Risk Assessment has been developed to provide Hong Kong seafood businesses with a free resource to help indicate which fisheries and farmed seafood source countries are low risk and which are at high risk in terms of unsustainable fishing / production practices for a given species. If you are a member of the Hong Kong Sustainable Seafood Coalition, this seafood risk assessment will help your business align with the HKSSC Voluntary Code of Conduct on Responsible Fish and Seafood Sourcing.
Whilst several online seafood guides / risk assessments exist, none are tailored to the unique requirements of the Hong Kong seafood market. HKSSC members required a seafood sourcing information tool that is bespoke to their needs and can provide easily accessible information to inform their seafood sourcing policies.
The Hong Kong Sustainable Seafood Coalition (HKSSC) is an industry-led coalition that aims to advance the sustainable seafood market in Hong Kong, by promoting responsible purchasing and consumption of fish and seafood. Their vision is for all seafood imported into Hong Kong to be legal, traceable and biologically sustainable. HKSSC is not a certification scheme or an eco-label.
The HKSSC provides two Voluntary Codes of Conduct, a Sourcing and a Labelling code, that members are asked to commit to. Details of these codes can be found at http://hksustainableseafoodcoalition.org/resources/ .