Finance Engagement

We support ESG investors and financial institutions to invest in and finance an advanced sustainable and responsible seafood industry

We support financial institutions to reduce the risks of investing in and financing seafood companies, and to implement ESG investment and financing in line with international trends.

Recommended for

  • Those who want to have the latest information about seafood sustainability at global financial institution

  • Those who want to eliminate risks derived from overfishing, IUU (illegal, unreported, unregulated) fishing, or human rights violations from the portfolio

  • Those who want to engage with investment and financing to improve sustainability in the seafood  industry

Roadmap for ESG investment and financing in fisheries


Understand the systemic risks posed by overfishing, IUU fishing, and human rights violations that threaten sustainability in the seafood industry

Japan is the fourth largest importer of seafood in the world. Japan also hosts the highest number of corporate headquarters among the top 100 international seafood companies. However, in 2019, Planet Tracker, a financial thinktank in Britain, warned the corporations and financial institutions with investments and financing tied up in the 41 seafood companies listed on the Japanese stock market that “unless there is a recovery in wild fish stocks to support a regeneration of industry growth, investors are facing the serious possibility of a seafood bubble which is ready to burst in the near future.”

At Seafood Legacy, we provide ESG investors and financial institutions in Japan with a wealth of knowledge about the current state of the seafood market in Japan and the risks facing its global supply chain.


30% of the world’s most important fisheries resources are overfished, 60% are fully exploited, while less than 10% of fisheries resources are underfished. Most aquaculture businesses, a promising growth industry, still relies on wild fish for feed.

IUU fishing

The sustainable management of fisheries resources is under threat from IUU fishing. It is a major international issue with decent fishermen exposed to unfair competition. It is estimated that as much as 31% (by weight) of fish catches worldwide are caught by illegal or unreported operators. In 2019, Japan placed 133rd of 152 countries on the IUU Fishing Index.

Human rights violations

The global fisheries industry is rife with piracy, disputes over access to fishing grounds, child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking. The result is serious violations of the human rights of workers with no effective measures taken to protect them.

Current state of Japan’s seafood industry

Japan was once the world’s largest fishing nation , but now the amount of catch is one third of what it was at the peak, and employment in the seafood industry has shrunk to a quarter. Seafood consumption per capita has also decreased by 40% in the past twenty years.

Know case studies, international collaboration, and global trends of ESG investment and financing in fisheries

At the G7 summit in June 2021, the G7 leaders adopted “The 2030 Nature Compact” to jointly tackle issues such as the loss of biodiversity and climate change. With the launch of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), disclosing information about business risks and opportunities related to biodiversity, including the oceans, is now a requirement. Now that sustainability-linked loans related to the oceans are being executed, companies' interest is also increasing.

According to the article “The future of food from the sea,” published in Nature in 2020, the oceans will play an important role in providing food in 2050 when the global population reaches 9.8 billion. If sustainable production systems are successfully built, it is estimated that edible seafood derived from the ocean will increase from the current 59 million tons to 130 million tons. Aquaculture has the potential to expand to 44% of total production volume if alternative feeds are developed.

As the United Nations, governments, corporations, and investors increasingly pursue biodiversity conservation for the oceans and food security, Seafood Legacy will organize seminars for institutions involved in ESG investment and financing in Japan to provide the latest information on international platforms, benchmarks, and initiatives by leading institutions in Japan and abroad.

The Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles and Guidance

Analysis of the risks and opportunities for financial institutions investing in and financing the sustainable blue economy. Prepared by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI) and other organizations.

Click here for Principles and Guidance in English

Click here for Japanese translation (Seafood sector, excerpt)


The Index of 30 Global Seafood Companies’ Sustainability

Assessment by the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) based on four indicators: Governance and strategy, Biodiversity conservation, Traceability and IUU, and Social responsibility (in English)

Click here


ESG Evaluation of Animal Protein Producers

Coller FAIRR assessment of animal protein producers from the ESG perspective, including climate change, deforestation, animal welfare and working conditions. (In English) Click here


Assessment of 70 Listed Japanese Companies

In AGAINST THE TIDE, Planet Tracker, a British non-profit financial thinktank investigates the financial performance of 70 seafood companies listed on the Tokyo stock exchange between 2010 and 2019.

Click here for English or Japanese (summary)


Asia Sustainable Finance Initiative

The organization supports the financial sector to better understand the risks and opportunities of ESG investment, and to harness their power to achieve the SDGs. (Click here)


Tokyo Sustainable Seafood Summit

Leading international, regional and domestic experts will come together to discuss solutions for seafood sustainability, including ESG investment. The 2022 Summit dates are October 19–21.

Formulation of codes of conduct, monitoring, engagement and disclosure for ESG investment and financing in the seafood industry

Seafood sustainability has a major impact on investors and financial institutions. At the same time, approaches to investment and financing have the potential to significantly accelerate the pursuit of sustainability in the seafood industry.

Seafood Legacy provides ESG investors and financial institutions with a full range of support on formulation of codes of conduct, monitoring, engagement and disclosure when investing in and financing the seafood industry.


Download our reports on sustainable seafood and sustainability for the seafood business.
Please feel free to contact us.

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