Bream, Gilthead (Farmed)

Sparus auratus

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — Europe
Production method — Open net pen
Certification — GlobalGap certified
Picture of Bream, Gilthead (Farmed)

Sustainability rating three info

Sustainability overview

Turkey is a key producer of farmed bream. Bream 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; disease transfer between farmed and wild species; widespread use of chemicals and, some remaining concerns surrounding enforcement and regulatory controls. Bream are carnivorous fish that require more fish in their diet than 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. GlobalGap certification addresses many of these issues.

Feed Resources

Criterion Score: -3

Sea Bream are a fed species, requiring a commercial diet containing fish and vegetable proteins and oils. Sea bream produced to GlobalGap production standards cannot be assured to use responsible or sustainable feed however the main feed suppliers do have internal sourcing policies in place but their effectiveness cannot be verified. Sea bream require a large percentage fishmeal and fish oil in their diet making them a net consumer of fish protein rather than producers


Environmental Impacts

Criterion Score: 0

Sea bream have a number of environmental impacts associated with their production, many of which are addressed by the Global Gap production standards in place. What is not known however is the risk of disease transfer to wild species in the vicinity of the cages. Also of concern is the effect on local predatory species.


Fish Health and Welfare

Criterion Score: 1

Fish welfare and humane slaughter requirements are in place within the GlobalGap standards for sea bream.



Criterion Score: 2

Overall the management of sea bass production is evaluated to be only partially effective. There is a lack of Spatial Management that adequately incorporates aquaculture production and although there are regulations and/or criteria in place for many of the environmental impacts of production there is insufficient data to assess the overall effectiveness in areas of disease prevention and escapes.


Production method

Open net pen

Farming in open net pens allows for interaction with the surrounding environment and, as such, 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)


Gilthead bream can grow to a length of 70cm and live for as long as 11 years. It is a sedentary species found in depths of up to 150m. Spawning occurs between November and December.


FAO 2005-2018.Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. Sparus aurata. Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. Text by Colloca, F.; Cerasi, S. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated 8 February 2005.Accessed 05/06/2018

Health status of wild and cultured Seabream in the northern Adriatic Sea: Vet. Med. - Czech, 47, 2002 (8): 222-226

CIESM Workshop Monographs Impacts of Mariculture on Coastal Ecosystems. 2007. Available online: Accessed 05/09/2018 .

The Impact of a Fish Farm on a Bottlenose Dolphin Population in the Mediterreanean Sea: Halassas., 2005, 21 (2): 65-70 An International Journal of Marine Sciences. Avaialble online at: Accessed 05/06/2018

Health status of wild and cultured Seabream in the northern Adriatic Sea: Vet. Med. - Czech, 47, 2002 (8): 222-226