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Responsibly Sourced Seafood

Our Coles Brand Responsibly Sourced Seafood Program

We believe responsibly sourced seafood means we know how and where our Coles Brand seafood is caught or farmed, ensuring fish populations and the impact on surrounding habitats and ecosystems are monitored to meet robust sourcing and quality standards.

We have undertaken independent assessments of hundreds of wild and farmed seafood products to meet robust Coles Brand responsible sourcing requirements. We will continue to review our program as fish stocks can fluctuate and the environment in which fisheries operate is complex and ever-changing. While we still have work ahead of us, we remain committed to giving our customers confidence to help make a better choice for our oceans.

At Coles we sell seafood that is both wild-caught and from aquaculture farms, however both require different programs to ensure we are carefully monitoring the impact on the environment and marine health.


Wild Caught Seafood

Responsible Sea food MSC logo

Recognised as one of the world’s leading certification programs for sustainable wild-catch seafood, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent, non-governmental organisation committed to maintaining sustainable oceans. At Coles, we recognise MSC as the gold standard for sustainable wild-caught seafood.

"Coles’ commitment to sell sustainably sourced seafood puts them among top industry leaders whose programs translate into actions that will have a significant impact on preserving our oceans and seafood resources.The Marine Stewardship Council applauds Coles for the introduction of MSC-certified fresh seafood in stores." - Pat Caleo, MSC Asia Pacific Director.

Sustainable Fisherman


Our preference is to source as much MSC certified seafood as possible. However, we understand that gaining MSC certification is a rigorous and intensive process, so for those fisheries who are yet to start or complete this journey we have worked with WWF - Australia and MRAG Asia Pacific (independent sustainable seafood specialists) to develop a program that examines the sustainability credentials of fisheries.

The Coles Responsibly Sourced Seafood logo that you’ll see on our products means that the fishery from which the seafood was caught has been independently assessed against these areas:

  • Target Fish Stocks: How healthy and robust the target fish population is, and what measures are in place to ensure it remains healthy in the future;
  • Ecosystem impacts: What impact the fishing method has on other species and the surrounding ecosystem;
  • Fishery Management: How effective the fishery management system is in promoting healthy fish stocks and ecosystems.


Responsible Sea food ASC logo

Farmed seafood (aquaculture) is a way we can provide year-round, high-quality seafood which complements wild caught seafood availability. 

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is a leading global certification and labelling program for responsibly farmed seafood (aquaculture). ASC is an independent, non-profit organisation that was established in 2010 by WWF and IDH (Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative) to manage a global set of standards for aquaculture.  At Coles, we recognise ASC as the gold standard for responsibly farmed seafood.

By offering consumers ASC-certified seafood, Coles gives Australians the opportunity to recognise and reward responsible sourcing as well as contribute to transforming aquaculture towards sustainability. This is excellent news for Australian seafood lovers, and a major milestone in Coles’ ongoing commitment towards a sustainable seafood offer.” – Chris Ninnes, CEO ASC

Our preference is to source as much ASC certified farmed seafood as possible. However, those aquaculture farms who are yet to be certified by the ASC need to meet the requirements of our program which includes being certified by a GLOBALG.A.P. or Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP4) or having an independent assessment undertaken, such as against WWF Australia’s methodology.

responsibly sourced logo

When you see the Coles Responsibly Sourced Seafood logo, it means all components of the farming production system (e.g. broodstock, seedling, feed, harvesting, processing), and other possible impacts on the environment (e.g. water quality) have been independently assessed and meet Coles’ standards

Having a large retailer like Coles come out with a public commitment to sourcing seafood in a responsible manner has raised the game of sustainable seafood to a new level, putting it on the national agenda.

"At WWF we have been proud to walk side by side with Coles on their sustainable seafood journey. Coles increasing its stock of MSC and ASC certified seafood products and launching its own Responsibly Sourced Seafood Program, demonstrates their commitment towards the goals of healthy oceans.” - Gilly Llewellyn, WWF-Australia Conservation Director


Future Friendly Sourcing logos

Future Friendly logo

You may still see the blue or green Future Friendly Sourcing logos on our Coles Brand seafood. Over time these are being replaced by the MSC and ASC ecolabels or Coles Responsibly Sourced Seafood logo. You can be confident that these products are responsibly sourced and comply with our new Coles Brand Responsibly Sourced Seafood Program.

If you’ve got more questions email or call customer care centre

Our Commitment – Tuna

We are committed to sourcing seafood responsibly and we regularly review our program as fish stocks can fluctuate and the environment in which fisheries operate is complex and ever-changing. We’ve committed to source Responsibly Sourced Coles Brand seafood, and that of course includes our tuna. We understand that tuna sourcing and labelling is something that our customers really care about.

We’re proud our Coles Brand canned Skipjack and yellowfin tuna is responsibly sourced. This means:

  • Fish stocks: The fish stock from where the Coles Brand Skipjack and Yellowfin tuna is caught is currently independently assessed as green in our Coles Responsibly Sourced Seafood Program (as set out above).
  • Reduced by-catch: Coles Brand Skipjack and Yellowfin tuna is caught without the use of fish aggregating devices (known as FADs), which are essentially rafts that attract fish. This results in less by-catch.
  • Traceability: Coles Brand Skipjack and Yellowfin canned tuna can be traced back to the approved fishing boats that caught the tuna, and the boat that transports it to the canneries.
  • Independent observers: Boats that catch Coles Brand Skipjack and Yellowfin tuna have independent observers on board to ensure good quality data is available to help manage the fishery, and monitor compliance with conservation measures specified by the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.