Metagoverning Aquaculture Standards: A Comparison of the GSSI, the ASEAN GAP, and the ISEAL

P. Samerwong*, S.R. Bush, P.J.M. Oosterveer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The presence of multiple eco-certification standards for sustainable aquaculture is thought to create confusion and add cost for producers and consumers alike. To ensure their quality and consistency, a range of so-called metagovernance arrangements have emerged that seek to provide harmonized quality assurance over these standards. This article aims to answer the question of how these metagovernance arrangements differ and whether they actually reduce confusion, with a focus on aquaculture in Southeast Asia. We compare three metagovernance arrangements, the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative, the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Good Aquaculture Practices, with respect to differences in their goals, their levels of inclusiveness, and their internal governance arrangement. The findings indicate that these metagovernance arrangements differ with respect to their goals and approaches and do not seem to directly reduce confusion. More critically, they represent a new arena for competition among market, state, and civil society actors in controlling the means of regulation when aiming for more sustainable aquaculture production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-451
JournalThe Journal of Environment & Development
Issue number4
Early online date7 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • aquaculture standard
  • metagovernance
  • GSSI
  • environmental governance

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Metagoverning Aquaculture Standards: A Comparison of the GSSI, the ASEAN GAP, and the ISEAL'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this