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Project Title

Sustaining Ethical Aquaculture Trade (SEAT)

Project Partners

Asia: Shanghai Ocean University, Can Tho University, Kasetsart University, Bangladesh Agricultural University, EU: University of Stirling, Cefas, University of Copenhagen, Wageningen University, Institute of Environmental Sciences, University of Bergen, Danish Institute for International Studies International: The WorldFish Center, FAO

Funding Sponsor

EU, Seventh Framework Programme

Budget (EU)


Project Coordinator

Professor, Dr. Dave Little

Local Coordinator

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Nguyen Thanh Phuong

Project Period

3.5 years: From 6/2010 to 12/2013

Overall Objective

Current EU policy supporting international trade between Asia and Europe concentrates on issues of food safety as measures of quality, whilst market-forces drive development of standards and labels that identify social and environmental parameters. This project proposes to establish an evidence-based framework to support current and future stakeholder dialogues organised by a third party certifier. This will contribute to harmonising standards, helping consumers to make fully informed choices with regards to the sustainability and safety of their seafood.

Specific Objectives

Research outputs will provide the evidence-base for the creation of an ‘Ethical Aquatic Food Index’ (EAFI). This key project outcome will be used to disseminate complex project findings to the wider public in a concise and understandable way. Collaboration will also take place with European and Asian small and medium scale-enterprises (SMEs) to address specific sustainability questions.
Running from 2009-2013, the project will take a highly interdisciplinary approach to address sustainability questions and includes a consortium of 14 internationally recognised institutions and organisations. Topics that will be addressed during the project will include environmental impacts, impacts of trade on local livelihoods and public health, food safety including contaminants and traceability concerns, and barriers to trade.
Life cycle analysis will be used to explore energy and material costs embedded in the global value-chains. Food ethicists will also examine the value-laden nature of sustainability decisions during the project i.e. who decides which qualities are significant in relation to sustainability.


  • WP1: Project Management

  • WP2: Production systems

  • WP3: Life Cycle Analysis

  • WP4: Environmental Models

  • WP5: Socio-Eco Dynamics

  • WP6: Food Safety

  • WP7: Contamination risks

  • WP8: Ethical framework

  • WP9: Enhancing food values

  • WP10: Improving transparency

  • WP11: Policy development

  • W12: Dissemination

Expected Outputs


n VIETNAM: 2 Ph.Ds and  5 Masters
The SEAT project involves 12 Work Packages examining many areas of the aquaculture industry and trade from Asia to the EU from producers to consumers. Some key outcomes of the project are listed below and further details are available through the ‘Work Packages’ pages of this website. 

  • Creation of the Ethical Aquatic Food Index (EAFI) with values relating to food production, processing and marketing for all relevant stakeholders

  • Development of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology for use in comparing environmental performance of products and services in the industry

  • Review and development of environmental models for quantitative investigation of environmental sustainability and quality standards of aquaculture systems

  • Examination of Global Value Chains (GVC) for relevant aquaculture products including analysis of socio-economic dimensions. Information asymmetries assessed for all actors in the GVC and the implications for market access

  • Improve safety of aquaculture produce for all stakeholders in the value chain, and improved control of occupational health and safety for farmers

  • Examination of impacts of chemical inputs to aquaculture systems and associated risk assessment development for endpoints e.g. ecosystem, produce and consumers

  • Evidence-based ethical advice for policy makers, standard setting organisations and consumers to inform participatory standards development and awareness raising

  • Provision of guidance to Asian exporters and regulatory agencies relating to policy within the EU hygiene package and implementation of the EAFI

Project websites  or


 ASEAN Fisheries Education Network - ASEAN-FEN

In order to strengthen and promote collaboration in education, research, information exchange as well as staff and student exchange in aquaculture and fisheries among ASEAN countries and with other international institutions and organizations for sustainable development of aquaculture and fisheries in the region, nine Universities including Can Tho University (Vietnam), Kasetsart University (Thailand), Nong Lam University (Viet Nam), Prince of Songkla University (Thailand), Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya (Thailand), Universitas Airlangga (Indonesia), Universitas Brawijaya (Indonesia), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (Malaysia), Universiti Sains Malaysia (Malaysia) has jointly established and made the Declaration of the  ASEAN Fisheries Education Network (ASEAN-FEN) on 30 October 2014 during the International Fisheries Symposium – IFS2014, Surabaya, Indonesia. Please visit the website ( for further information about the ASEAN-FEN. As a result, IFS will be one of the important activities of the ASEAN-FEN which will be co-organized by the nine core universities every year.


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