The Social Responsibility Assessment (SRA) Tool for the Seafood Sector

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 that was published in Science and named “The Monterey Framework.”

The Monterey Framework is an actionable consensus framework based on three main principles:

Learn more about the Monterey Framework:

  • The Monterey Framework for Social Responsibility – Overview (PDF)
  • Committing to Socially Responsible Seafood (Kittinger et al. 2017, Science)
  • Actioning the Monterey Framework: Stories from Around the World (PDF)

Actioning the Monterey Framework: 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 into actionable guidance aimed at improving working conditions and wellbeing for fishers and communities.

The SRA is used to assess risks of social issues, uncover critical information gaps, and identify areas in need of improvement. The SRA is designed to be flexible to accommodate a range of seafood production models, from artisanal and industrial fisheries to seafood processors and fish farms. It can be especially valuable when informing the development of a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) workplan. The SRA can even be used by brands and retailers when developing their seafood sourcing and supply chain engagement strategies.

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 SRA tool is not a certification, but it can be used to identify and make improvements that could facilitate certification to another social program. 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.

Learn more about the SRA tool:

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

Resources for Conducting Assessments


Data Collection & the SRA Toolkit 

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.

Learn more about how to conduct an assessment using the SRA tool:

Learn more about how to conduct an assessment using the SRA tool:

  • 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)

The Social Responsibility Assessment for the Seafood Sector: A Manual for Trainers on Guidance for Assessment Implementation (PDFPPT)

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

CI & Verité Training Courses: Approaches to Gathering and Validating Data in Social Responsibility Assessments (website)

Conservation International and Verité have worked together to develop a human rights training for individuals or teams who are undertaking a social assessment. The training aims at improving assessors’ capacity to detect and address labor and human rights issues and risks in the seafood supply chain. This publicly available online training includes four modules that will build skills for gathering and validating data in social assessments, conducting root cause analysis, and facilitating corrective actions and remediation plans:

  • 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

A certificate of completion is available after successfully finishing all four modules.

The SRA and other Social Certifications

As the definition of sustainable seafood production has developed over the years to include social elements, there has been a proliferation of social certifications in the seafood space. The SRA was not only developed in alignment with many of these certifications, but it can also work complementary to these certifications to assess overall social risk in seafood supply chains. In recognition that social certifications are often aligned with the core elements of the SRA, equivalency mapping guidance documents have been created for several social certifications.

To use, start by reviewing the orientation document, “Applying and Using the SRA Equivalency Mapping,” which explains how to use each SRA Equivalency Mapping. After reviewing the orientation, select the relevant equivalency mapping guidance document from the below list. Each document reviews how each standard aligns with the SRA and identifies where evidence from a pre-assessment or audit report can be used to assess risk using the SRA. Pay close attention to the version number of the standard that was mapped to the SRA.

  • The Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard, version 1.0 – June 2020 (PDF)
  • The Fair Trade USA Capture Fisheries Standard, version 1.1.0 (PDF)
  • The AENOR Atun de Pesca, 195006:2016 (PDF)

Don’t see your program mapped or have an internal program you’d like to map? Let us know – send an email to to request equivalency mapping to other social certifications or internal programs.

Resources for Making Improvements


Empowering Workers

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.

Learn more about human rights and grievance mechanisms:

  • 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

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.


  • 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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