, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 2–13 | Cite as

Passing the Panda Standard: A TAD Off the Mark?

  • Ben Belton
  • Francis Murray
  • James Young
  • Trevor Telfer
  • David C. Little
Review Paper


Tilapia, a tropical freshwater fish native to Africa, is an increasingly important global food commodity. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), a major environmental nongovernmental organization, has established stakeholder dialogues to formulate farm certification standards that promote “responsible” culture practices. As a preface to its “tilapia aquaculture dialogue,” the WWF for Nature commissioned a review of potential certification issues, later published as a peer-reviewed article. This article contends that both the review and the draft certification standards subsequently developed fail to adequately integrate critical factors governing the relative sustainability of tilapia production and thereby miss more significant issues related to resource-use efficiency and the appropriation of ecosystem space and services. This raises a distinct possibility that subsequent certification will promote intensive systems of tilapia production that are far less ecologically benign than existing widely practiced semi-intensive alternatives. Given the likely future significance of this emergent standard, it is contended that a more holistic approach to certification is essential.


Aquaculture Sustainability Eco-certification Standards Tilapia Environmental impacts 



The authors would like to thank Professor Peter Edwards for the valuable insights he contributed during the development of this article.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ben Belton
    • 1
  • Francis Murray
    • 1
  • James Young
    • 2
  • Trevor Telfer
    • 1
  • David C. Little
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of AquacultureUniversity of StirlingStirlingUK
  2. 2.Department of MarketingUniversity of StirlingStirlingUK

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