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.


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.

Stock information

Stock Area

We are just updating our information please check back soon.

Stock information

We are just updating our information please check back soon.


We are just updating our information please check back soon.

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
Japanese amberjack, Yellowtail or Seriola
Pollack or Lythe
Pollock, Alaska, Walleye
Pouting or Bib
Sturgeon (Farmed)


Tacon, A. G. J., Metian, M., 2015. Feed Matters: Satisfying the Feed Demand of Aquaculture. Reviews in Fisheries Science and Aquaculture, 23:1-10

Christofilogiannis, P., 2002. Use of antibiotics in Greek mariculture. PhD Thesis- University of Stirling - Institute of Aquaculture

Chelossi, E., L. Vezzulli, A. Milano, M. Branzoni, M. Fabiano, G. Riccardi, and I.M. Banat. 2003. Antibiotic resistance of benthic bacteria in fish-farm and control sediments of the Western Mediterranean. Aquaculture 219, 83-97

Douet, D.G., H. Le Bris, and E. Giraud. 2009. Environmental aspects of drug and chemical use in aquaculture: an overview in Rogers, C. and B. Basurco, editors. The use of veterinary drugs and vaccines in Mediterranean aquaculture. CIHEAM-IAMZ, Series A, No. 86

Grigorakis, K., Rigos, G., 2011. Aquaculture effects on environmental and public welfare- the case of Mediterranean mariculture. Chemosphere, 855: 899-919

Labella, A., M. Gennari, V., Ghidini, I., Trento, A., Manfrin, J. J., Borrego, M.M., Lleo., 2013. High incidence of antibiotic multi-resistant bacteria in coastal areas dedicated to fish farming. Marine Pollution Bulletin 70: 197-203

Lalumera, G.M. D., Calamari, P., Galli, S., Castiglioni, G., Crosa, and R. Fanelli., 2004. Preliminary investigation on the environmental occurrence and effects of antibiotics used in aquaculture in Italy. Chemoshpere 54, 661-668

Matyar, F. 2007. Distribution and antimicrobial multiresistance in Gram-negative bacteria isolated from Turkich sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L., 1781) farm. Annals of Microbiology 57 (1): 35-38

Migliore, L., C. Civitareale, G. Brambilla, and G. Di Delupis. 1997. Toxicity of several important agricultural antibiotics to Artemia. Water Research 31: 1081-1806

Miranda, C., 2012. Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment, First Edition. Edited by Patricia L. Keen and Mark H.M.M. Montforts . John Wiley & Sons, Inc

Plumb, J. and Hanson, L., 2011. Health maintenance and principal microbial diseases of cultured fish. Third ed. Wiley-Blackwell, Iowa, USA. 244 pp doi: 10.1002/9780470958353

Rigos, G., and G.M. Troisi., 2005. Antibacterial agents in Mediterranean finfish farming: a synopsis of drug pharmacokinetics in important euryhaline fish species and possible environmental implications. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 15: 53-73

Dempster, T. and P. Sanchez-Jerez., 2008. Aquaculture and Coastal Space Management in Europe: An Ecological Perspective. Pages 87-116 in M. Holmer, K. Black, C. M. Duarte, N. Marba, I. Karakassis, T. Dempster, and P. Sanchez-Jerez, editors. Aquaculture in the Ecosystem. Springer Netherlands

Holmer, M., M. Argyrou, T. Dalsgaard, R. Danovaro, E. Diaz-Almela, C. M. Duarte, M. Frederiksen, A. Grau, I. Karakassis, N. Marba, S. Mirto, M. Perez, A. Pusceddu, and M. Tsapakis., 2008. Effects of fish farm waste on Posidonia oceanica meadows: Synthesis and provision of monitoring and management tools. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 56:1618-1629

Holmer, M., 2010. Environmental issues of fish farming in offshore waters: perspectives, concerns and research needs. Aquaculture Environment Interactions 1:57-70

Maldonado, M., M. C. Carmona, Y. Echeverria, and A. Riesgo., 2005. The environmental impact of Mediterranean cage fish farms at semi-exposed locations: does it need a re-assessment? Helgoland Marine Research 59:121-135

Mirto, S., S. Bianchelli, C. Gambi, M. Krzelj, A. Pusceddu, M. Scopa, M. Holmer, and R. Danovaro., 2010. Fish-farm impact on metazoan meiofauna in the Mediterranean Sea: Analysis of regional vs. habitat effects. Marine Environmental Research 69:38-47

Modica, A., D. Scilipoti, R. La Torre, A. Manganaro, G. Sara., 2006. The effect of mariculture facilities on biochemical features of suspended organic matter (southern Tyrrhenian, Mediterranean). Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science. 66 (1): 177-184

Najdek, M., A. Travizi, D. Bogner, and M. Blazina., 2007. Low impact of marine fish farming on sediment and meiofauna in Limski Channel (northern Adriatic, Croatia). Fresenius Environmental Bulletin 16 (7): 784-791

Sanz-Lazaro, C., M. D. Belando, L. Marin-Guirao, F. Navarrete-Mier, and A. Marin., 2011. Relationship between sedimentation rates and benthic impact on Maerl beds derived from fish farming in the Mediterranean. Marine Environmental Research 71:22-30

Sara, G., 2007. A meta-analysis on the ecological effects of aquaculture on the water column: dissolved nutrients. Marine Environmental Research 63: 390-408

Tomassetti, P., Persia, E., Mercatali, I., Vani, D., Marussso, V., and Porrello, S., 2009. Effects of mariculture on macrobenthic assemblages in a western Mediterranean site. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 58:533-541

Arechavala-Lopez, P., Sanchez-Jerez, P., Bayle-Sempere, J. T., Uglem, I., Mladineo, I., 2013. Reared fish, farmed escapees and wild fish stocks - A triangle of pathogen transmission of concern to Mediterranean aquaculture management. Aquaculture Environment Interactions, 3:153-161

Arechavala-Lopez, P., Uglem, I., Fernandez-Jover, D., Bayle-Sempere, J. T., Sanchez-Jerez, P., 2012. Post-escape dispersion of farmed seabream (Sparus aurata L.) and recaptures by local fisheries in the Western Mediterranean Sea. Fisheries Research, 121-122:126-135

Mladineo, I., Segvi?, T., Grubisi?, L., 2009. Molecular evidence for the lack of transmission of the monogenean Sparicotyle chrysophrii (Monogenea, Polyopisthocotylea) and isopod Ceratothoa oestroides (Crustacea, Cymothoidae) between wild bogue (Boops boops) and cage-reared sea bream (Sparus aurata) and sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). Aquaculture 295:160-167

Panzarin, V., Fusaro, A., Monne, I., Cappellozza, E., Patarnello, P., Bovo, G., Capua, I., Holmes, E. C., Cattoli, G., 2012. Molecular epidemiology and evolutionary dynamics of betanodavirus in southern Europe. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 12:63-70

Subasinghe, R., 2009. Disease control in aquaculture and the responsible use of veterinary drugs and vaccines: The issues, prospects and challenges. The use of veterinary drugs and vaccines in Mediterranean Aquaculture, 11:5-11

Vendramin, N., Zrncic, S., Padros, F., Oraic, D., Breton, A. Le., Zarza, C., Olesen, N. J., 2016. Fish health in Mediterranean Aquaculture, past mistakes and future challenges. Bulletin of European Association of Fish Pathologists, 36:38-45

Jackson, D., Drumm, A., McEvoy, S., Jensen, Mendiola, D., Gabina, G., Borg, J. A., Papageorgiou, N., Karakassis, Y., Black, K. D., 2015. A pan-European valuation of the extent, causes and cost of escape events from sea cage fish farming. Aquaculture 436:21-26

Toledo, Guedes, K., Sanchez-Jerez, P., Gonzalez-Lorenzo, G., Brito-Hernandez, A., 2009. Detecting the degree of establishment of a non-indigenous species in coastal ecosystems: Sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax escapes from sea cages in Canary Islands (Northeastern Central Atlantic). Hydrobiologia, 623:203-212

Beveridge, M. C. M. 2001. Aquaculture and wildlife interactions. Environmental Impact Assessment of Mediterranean Aquaculture Farms. Proceedings of the Seminar of the CIHEAM Network TECAM, Zaragosa, Spain, 17-21 January 2000

Diaz-Lopez, B., 2006. Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) predation on a marine fin fish farm: some underwater observations. Aquatic Mammals 32(3): 305-310

Diaz-Lopez, B. and Shirai, J.A.B., 2007. Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) presence and incidental capture in a marine fish farm on the north-eastern coast of Sardinia (Italy). Journal of the Marine Biology Association. U.K., 87: 113-117

Guclusoy, H. and Savas, Y., 2003. Interaction between monk seals Monachus monachus (Hermann, 1779) and marine fish farms in the Turkish Aegean and management of the problem. Aquaculture Research 34:777-783

Wursig, B. and Gailey, G. A., 2002. Marine mammals and aquaculture: conflicts and potential resolutions. Responsible Marine Aquaculture: 45-59.