Actioning the Monterey Framework

What is the Monterey Framework?

In 2017, environmental practitioners, human and labor rights advocates, academics, and industry representatives co-developed a definition of socially responsible seafood – “The Monterey Framework.”

The Monterey Framework is an actionable consensus framework aiming to:

  1. Protect human rights, dignity, and access to resources;
  2. Ensure equality and equitable opportunity to benefit; and
  3. Improve food and nutrition and support livelihood security.

Adopted by the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions and the seafood Certification and Ratings Collaboration, the Monterey Framework is supported by a coalition of experts, businesses and nonprofit organizations. This commitment helps fulfill the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.


  • The Monterey Framework for Social Responsibility – Overview (PDF)
  • Special Report: A Sea Change for Seafood? (website)
  • Committing to Socially Responsible Seafood (Kittinger et al. 2017, Science)
  • A Common Vision for Sustainable Seafood – Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions (PDF)
  • Actioning the Monterey Framework: Stories from Around the World (PDF)

The Social Responsibility Assessment Tool

Co-developed as a collaborative resource by more than two-dozen organizations, the Social Responsibility Assessment (SRA) Tool is a human rights due diligence tool designed to move the Monterey Framework from principles to action in industrial and small scale fisheries, improving working conditions and wellbeing for fishers and communities. The SRA is used to assess risks of social issues, uncover critical information gaps, identify areas in need of improvement, and inform the development of a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) workplan that includes a social element.

The indicators and scoring guideposts used to build this tool combine existing certification and ratings practices for social issues in seafood. The SRA integrates all relevant International Labour Organization conventions, international protocols and standards encompassing treatment of fishermen, safety practices, and access to food and first aid, among other key rights and needs. The SRA is informed by:

  • The Certification and Ratings Collaboration Framework on Social Responsibility for the Seafood Sector (Opal 2018);
  • FIP Rapid Assessment Protocol (OSMI 2018);
  • Guidance for Incorporating Socioeconomic Factors into Fishery Improvement Projects (SFP 2018);
  • and encompasses criteria from: SSRT, FTUSA, Clearview, Seafish RVFS, ASC, SFTF, Naturland, BSCI, FishSource, IFFO RS, GRASP, FOTS, BAP, SFP, IPNLF, and Thai Gap, among others.

The purpose of this tool is ultimately to improve crew welfare and well-being, but there are also benefits for businesses, governments, and other stakeholders. Chief among these are, de-risking and diversifying investment opportunities, reducing risk of supply chain disruptions, litigation, and reputational harm, aligning with and meeting global social responsibility standards, and evolving consumer demands, and finally ensuring continuity of seafood production to meet global food security needs into the future.


ELEVATE manages revisions of the SRA and provides training and materials around the use of the tool. If you have any questions on the SRA, please contact ELEVATE at

The Toolkit: Guidance and Trainings

Measuring Social Performance in FIPs

The Social Responsibility Assessment Tool: A Guide to Data Collection houses specific scoring and data collection guidance for each indicator. Within this guidance document, types of data needed to score each indicator—such as secondary data collected by desk-based research or primary data collected in the field using surveys and interviews—is suggested. The document provides guidance on where to find information in the case of secondary data collection, and provides sample survey and interview questions in the case of primary data collection.

SRA Tool is not a certification, it enumerates existing resources and approaches relevant to achieving social responsibility certification.


  • Social Responsibility Assessment Tool for the Seafood Sector: A Guide to Data Collection (English PDF / Bahasa PDF / French PDF / Spanish PDF)
  • SRA Toolkit (PDF) includes helpful templates and resources for:
    • Determining Unit of Assessment
    • Vessel assessment and physical inspection templates
    • Document review guides
    • Human Rights Risk Assessment: Fisher & Worker Survey Instruments
  • How to Use the SRA Toolkit: Training Module (Video / PPT)

Capacity-Building for FIP Implementers on Social Responsibility

To facilitate the integration of  social responsibility into FIP objectives, there are a variety of  trainings and templates available for FIP implementers in need of additional background and guidance regarding human and labor rights.

Conservation International’s manual for trainers contains guidance for assessment implementation, including information on the following topics:

  1. Conducting Social Science Research
  2. Applying a Human Rights Framework
  3. Using A Rights Based Approach
  4. Free Prior & Informed Consent
  5. Gender Integration
  6. Fisher/Worker Driven Approach

Conservation International and Verité have worked together to develop a human rights training for FIP implementers focused on enhancing capacity to detect and address labor and human rights issues and risks in the seafood supply chain. This asynchronous online training will include four modules that will be publicly available to FIP implementers, and will build skills for gathering and validating data in social assessments, conducting root cause analysis, and facilitating corrective actions and remediation plans.

Conservation International, Elevate, and FishChoice have partnered to develop additional training resources for FIP implementers on best practices for training fishers and workers on their rights and how to claim them, and effective grievance mechanisms for workers on fishing vessels.


  • The Social Responsibility Assessment for the Seafood Sector: A Manual for Trainers on Guidance for Assessment Implementation (PDF/ PPT)
  • CI & Verité Training Courses: Approaches to Gathering and Validating Data in Social Responsibility Assessments (website)
    • Module 1: Labor and Human Rights Standards, Issues, and Risks in Seafood Supply Chain
    • Module 2: Effective Gathering and Validating Data in Social Responsibility Assessments
    • Module 3: Conducting Key Informant Interviews
    • Module 4: Root Cause Analysis
  • Understanding and Accessing Rights: Respecting Human Rights in Fishery Value Chain (Webinar / PDF)
  • A Trusted Voice for Workers on Fishing Vessels: Accessing Grievance Effective Mechanisms (Webinar / PDF)

Protecting Civil, Political, Economic, Social, Collective and Indigenous Rights

The Monterey Framework encompasses the protection of civil, political, economic, social, collective and indigenous rights.

Businesses from each segment of food supply chains (producers, processors, buyers, suppliers, brands, and retailers) have a responsibility to ensure their policies are not just reflective of good labor practices, but have explicit gender equality and equity considerations, and protections from gender-based violence. In the seafood sector, businesses must also consider impacts on small-scale fisheries and their communities, such as respect of customary rights and tenure, and rights to nutritious food and decent work.


  • The Monterey Framework for Social Responsibility – Overview (PDF)
  • Categories of Human Rights (graphic)
  • Handbook – Methodology to Improve Food, Nutrition, and Livelihood Security: Principle 3 of the Monterey Framework (PDF)
  • Presentation – Driving Improvements in Food, Nutrition, and Livelihood Security: Guidance for Principle 3 of the Monterey Framework (PPT)

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