The Seafood Ethics Common Language Group

A group which brings people together to find out more about ethical sourcing and issues concerning labour and worker welfare.

The Seafood Ethics Common Language Group (SECLG) provides a safe meeting space to discuss the key ethical issues faced by the international seafood industry. The group looks at social welfare issues that affect the UK seafood supply chain, whether in the UK or seafood imported into the UK. This covers human trafficking, labour abuses, child labour, debt bondage, forced labour, migrant workers, and modern slavery. It is an opportunity to share new ideas or best practice case studies from around the world.

The group is led by our industry and we take responsibility for running the SECLG. The Group has met twice a year since 2014. The SECLG brings together seafood industry representatives from major supermarket chains, smaller retailers, processors, foodservice and the catching sector.  Other people who attend are not-for-profit voluntary groups, welfare charities, consumer groups, government and social research scientists.

SECLG meetings and bite size meetings

There are generally two meetings a year. The presentations and minutes from the most recent meetings are below. Presentations and minutes from previous meetings are available from Karen Green.

Due to Covid-19 we are running shorter online bite-size SECLG meetings in 2020 and 2021

Next meeting

Thursday 25 March 2021. 2pm to 3.30pm GMT. Standards and at-sea labour practices

Previous bite-size meetings

Increasing transparency on fishing vessels (28 January 2021). This meeting looked at initiatives and technological developments to improve our understanding of vessel activity and patterns of behaviour at sea. This sheds light on whether vessel operators are fishing responsibly, but also the likelihood that they are treating their crew and fishery observers fairly, and complying with recognised labour rules. See the presentations:

Facets underpinning a socially resilient seafood industry (12 November 2020). This meeting looked at some of the key factors underpinning a socially resilient seafood industry and focussed on the work of three organisations supporting the industry to drive behavioural change. See the presentations:

Dynamics around setting and benchmarking at-sea baseline social criteria (2 September 2020). This meeting explored the principles that are helping to shape this conversation to see if it is possible to adopt one common way to assess at sea social criteria and agree what that includes. This looked at the initiatives currently underway; explored whether certification is the answer; if a simpler model can support the introduction of best practice and due diligence; and if benchmarking can bring all this into alignment. See the presentations:


  • At-sea social criteria (8 July 2020)
  • ILO 188 Work in Fishing Convention (27 May 2020)

Contact Karen Green for presentations.

Terms of Reference and archive

Our social responsibility work

  • Social responsibility is a key work area for us. As well as running the SECLG we also support the seafood industry in a number of key areas to help eliminate unethical practices from UK seafood supply chains. To find out more read our Social Responsibility in Seafood briefing note 


For further information, please contact: Karen Green