Bass, seabass (Farmed)

Dicentrarchus labrax

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — Europe
Production method — Open net pen
Picture of Bass, seabass (Farmed)

Sustainability rating four info

Sustainability overview

Turkey and Greece are the biggest producers of sea bass in Europe followed by France, Spain and Italy. Seabass farmed in open net pens causes some environmental concerns. These concerns include pollution from both nutrients and organic matters that lead to environmental changes; escaped farmed fish; use of chemicals in production; interaction with local wildlife sometimes including lethal predator control and some concerns regarding regulatory controls. Seabass are carnivorous fish that require more fish in their diet that they actually produce, leading to a net loss of marine proteins and oils, the fish used to make their feed cannot be assured to be sourced from a sustainable supply.

Feed Resources

Criterion Score: -1

Sea Bass are a fed species, requiring a commercial diet containing fish and vegetable proteins and oils. Sea bass produced to no recognised production standards cannot be assured to use responsible or sustainable feed however the main feed suppliers do have internal sourcing policies in place, however their effectiveness cannot be verified. Sea bass require fishmeal and fish oil in their diet making them a net consumer of fish protein rather than producers.


Environmental Impacts

Criterion Score: -2 

Sea bass have a number of environmental impacts associated with their production, in particular is the lack of data around the potential over use of antibiotics, the risk of disease and parasite transfer to wild species in the surrounding environment and escape risk and its consequential effects, these are due to the nature of the open production system.


Fish Health and Welfare

Criterion Score: 1

Fish welfare and humane slaughter requirements are in place for sea bass through EU wide regulations, compliance with these regulations are unverified however. .



Criterion Score: -1

Overall the management of sea bass production is evaluated to be only partially effective as there is a lack of Spatial Management that adequately incorporates aquaculture production and although there are regulations in place for many of the environmental impacts of production there is insufficient data to assess their overall effectiveness.


Production method

Open net pen

Seabass are farmed in open net pens allows which allows for interaction with the surrounding environment and therefore has to be managed in such a way as to minimise negative environmental and ecological impacts.


Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below. Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.

Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler
Bass, seabass (Farmed)
Bream, Gilthead (Farmed)
Cod, Atlantic Cod
Coley, Saithe
Hake, Cape
Hake, European
Monkfish, Anglerfish
Pollock, Alaska, Walleye
Sturgeon (Farmed)


Bass or seabass belongs to a family of spiny-finned fish called Moronidae, which are closely related to groupers. Bass breed from March to mid-June, mostly in April, in British coastal and offshore waters. From January to March in the Bay of Biscay and from February to May in the English Channel and eastern Celtic Sea. It is a long-lived and slow growing species - up to 30 years of age, and can achieve a length of up to 1m with a weight of 12kg. Male bass mature at 31-35cm (aged 3-6 years) and females mature at 40-45cm (aged 5-8 years). Once mature, bass may migrate within UK coastal waters and occasionally further offshore. Increases in sea water temperature in recent decades has likely led to a more northerly distribution of seabass as it is now found further north into the North Sea. Climate warming may also have lengthened the time adult seabass spend in the summer feeding areas. After spawning, seabass tend to return to the same coastal sites each year.


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