GRI Reporting on Aquaculture and Fishing Sector

GRI Reporting on Aquaculture and Fishing Sector

"Empowering communities, preserving oceans: Aquaculture's sustainable journey towards a healthier future."

Why sector standards for Aquaculture?

Sector standards for aquaculture are developed to address the specific sustainability challenges and impacts associated with the aquaculture industry. These standards provide guidance and reporting frameworks that help aquaculture companies measure, manage, and disclose their sustainability performance. By having sector-specific standards, it ensures that the unique environmental, social, and economic aspects of aquaculture are effectively addressed, promoting transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement within the industry.

The significance of this Standard?

The GRI Sector Standard for Aquaculture is significant as it provides a comprehensive framework for reporting on the sustainability performance of aquaculture operations. It promotes transparency, accountability, and responsible practices, enabling companies to identify and address their environmental, social, and governance impacts. By using this standard, stakeholders can gain valuable insights into the industry’s sustainability efforts, fostering trust, informed decision-making, and driving positive change in the aquaculture sector.

  • Drive sustainability: The standard guides aquaculture companies in measuring and managing their environmental, social, and economic impacts, fostering sustainable practices.
  • Enhance transparency: By reporting on key performance indicators, the standard enables stakeholders to access reliable information on the industry’s sustainability efforts and progress.
  • Encourage responsible practices: The standard promotes responsible aquaculture operations, including ecosystem conservation, biodiversity protection, and ethical labour practices.
  • Support decision-making: The standard’s reporting framework aids stakeholders in making informed decisions, such as investment choices, partnerships, and policy development, based on the industry’s sustainability performance.
  • Facilitate collaboration: By aligning reporting practices, the standard fosters collaboration among aquaculture stakeholders, encouraging knowledge-sharing and best practices for sustainable development. Overall, the standard plays a crucial role in advancing the aquaculture sector towards greater sustainability, resilience, and positive social and environmental outcomes.

To what organizations does GRI 13 apply?

GRI 13, the Sector Standard for Aquaculture, applies to a wide range of organizations involved in the aquaculture industry. This includes:

  • Aquaculture farms and hatcheries
  • Seafood processors and exporters
  • Feed and aquaculture input suppliers
  • Certification bodies and auditors
  • Research institutions and academic organizations
  • Industry associations and trade groups
  • Investors and financial institutions
  • Government agencies and regulators
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations
  • Consumers and consumer advocacy groups

The standard is designed to be applicable to organizations of all sizes, from small-scale local producers to large multinational corporations, operating in various geographical locations and aquaculture sub-sectors. It provides a common framework for reporting on sustainability performance and impacts, allowing stakeholders to assess and compare the sustainability efforts of different organizations within the aquaculture sector.

When will GRI 13 come into effect?

The GRI Sector Standard for Aquaculture is set to come into effect for reporting from 1 January 2024. This means that organizations in the aquaculture sector should start preparing to implement the standard’s requirements and guidelines in their sustainability reporting processes. 

It is important for organizations to familiarize themselves with the standard and ensure they have the necessary systems and procedures in place to collect and report the relevant data. By adopting the standard, organizations can demonstrate their commitment to transparency, accountability, and sustainable practices in the aquaculture industry.

This effective date allows sufficient time for reporters to incorporate GRI 13 into their materiality considerations and start collecting data for any topics and/or disclosures they may not be reporting on yet.

The Universal Standards 2021 apply to all organizations and comprise three Standards: GRI 1: Foundation 2021, GRI 2: General Disclosures 2021, and GRI 3: Material Topics 2021. 

The Universal Standards guide reporters on how to report with the GRI Standards and contain disclosure requirements and reporting principles that all organizations must comply with to report in accordance with the GRI Standards.

GRI 13: Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fishing Sectors 2022 outlines the topics that are likely to be
material for organizations in these sectors and lists disclosures to report. The disclosures come from
the GRI Topic Standards and may be supplemented with sector reporting from other sources.

When a disclosure from a Topic Standard is listed, the organization needs to consult the relevant
Topic Standard for the content of the disclosure, including requirements, recommendations, and
guidance. If the organization does not report listed disclosures from Topic Standards, it is required to
explain in brief why the disclosures are not relevant to its impacts in relation to the material topic.

If Your organization is still using the Universal Standards 2016.

Sector Standards is only included in the Universal Standards 2021 (effective date 1 January 2023). Reporters using Universal Standards 2016 are not required to use GRI 13, however it may be useful for the organization when determining its material topics and what to report on those topics.

An organization reporting in accordance with the GRI Standards is required to list in the GRI content index all the disclosures it has reported. In the case the organization reports additional sector disclosures from GRI 13, these are to be listed in the GRI content index. 


Can small enterprises use the GRI 13?

Yes, small enterprises in the aquaculture sector can use the GRI 13 Sector Standard for their sustainability reporting. The GRI standards are designed to be applicable to organizations of all sizes, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

While the level of reporting may vary based on the organization’s size and capacity, GRI 13 provides guidance and requirements that can be adapted to suit the specific needs and resources of small enterprises. 

Implementing GRI 13 can help small aquaculture enterprises enhance their transparency, improve their sustainability performance, and demonstrate their commitment to responsible business practices in the industry.

GRI 13 confined to upstream production?

GRI 13: Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fishing Sectors is not confined solely to upstream production. GRI 13 covers a wide range of topics and issues relevant to the agriculture, aquaculture, and fishing sectors, including environmental impacts, social aspects, governance, and economic performance. 

The standard is designed to be applicable to organizations operating at different stages of the value chain, including upstream production, processing, distribution, and retail. It aims to provide a comprehensive framework for sustainability reporting in these sectors, considering the various sustainability challenges and opportunities they face.

The complexity of the sectors’ business relationships and the variety of products sectors produce also meant that it makes sense to cover only production and aggregation of agriculture, aquaculture, and fishing products in the Standard.


Does GRI 13 align with SASB Standards?

GRI 13 : Aquaculture and Fishing Sectors and SASB standards are complementary in terms of their approach to materiality. While GRI 13 focuses on the significant impacts of these sectors on the economy, environment, and people, including human rights, SASB’s industry-specific standards identify sustainability-related risks and opportunities that can affect a company’s financial condition, operating performance, or risk profile.

Due to their different perspectives, GRI 13 and SASB standards may have different disclosures. GRI 13 covers topics such as economic inclusion, living income and living wage, and impacts on the rights of indigenous peoples and land users, which are not addressed by SASB. However, there is some overlap in certain areas, such as food safety, animal welfare, and water use.

During the development of GRI 13, various instruments, standards, and frameworks, including SASB standards, were considered to ensure comprehensive coverage of relevant topics and disclosures. This reflects the collaborative approach to sustainability reporting and the recognition that different frameworks may provide valuable insights into different aspects of an organization’s sustainability performance.

GRI 13 & Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standards?

GRI 13: Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fishing Sectors and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standards can work together to provide a comprehensive approach to sustainability reporting in the food industry.

GRI 13 covers a broad range of sustainability topics relevant to the agriculture, aquaculture, and fishing sectors, including social, environmental, and economic aspects. It addresses issues such as biodiversity, climate change, water management, labor practices, and community engagement.

On the other hand, GFSI is a private industry-driven initiative focused specifically on food safety. It sets internationally recognized benchmarks for food safety management systems and certifies that a company’s processes and systems meet these standards.

While GRI 13 does not specifically address food safety requirements, it can complement GFSI standards by providing a framework for reporting on the broader sustainability performance of organizations in the food industry. By integrating GRI 13 into their reporting practices, organizations can disclose their efforts and progress in areas beyond food safety, such as environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and supply chain management.

Together, GRI 13 and GFSI standards enable organizations to provide a more holistic view of their sustainability performance, considering both food safety and broader sustainability considerations. This integrated approach can enhance transparency, accountability, and stakeholder trust in the food industry.



ESG Consultant / BD / Author @
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