Seafood Co-Lab

Community-Supported Solutions in the Seafood Industry

The Need

The sustainable seafood movement has grown profoundly in scope and impact over the past decade; but innovative and collaborative cross-sector solutions to global fisheries challenges have not kept pace with the speed of business.
To be effective, we must create new tools to engage new stakeholders.

The Idea

Incubate new, cross-sector collaborations that generate innovative solutions to ongoing or emerging challenges within the sustainable seafood movement via an annual event that stimulates engagement, raises awareness, and generates concrete solutions at the project level.

The Opportunity

SeaWeb and the Conservation Alliance are uniquely positioned to identify challenges in sustainable seafood that will benefit from a collaborative response, and to tap into the expertise of individual leaders and the collective knowledge of the broader movement to address those challenges.

The seafood community has a long track record of working to solve sustainability challenges. Your organization can build on this by joining Co-Lab as a resource or through a sponsorship.


The Seafood Co-Lab is an annual competition where the seafood industry invests in practical and innovative solutions
to sustainability challenges. Winners are chosen by the seafood community and receive a financial reward
as well as logistical and technical support to implement their idea.

Identify Collaborations

Reach out to the broader seafood community soliciting collaborative teams to submit projects for the Co-Lab. Teams must include more than one sector (seafood industry, government, academia, nonprofit).

Tell the Stories

Identify a set of four teams to move on to finalist stage. Finalists will be chosen by the Co-Lab’s Advisory Board of seafood experts based on criteria including potential impact of the project.

Community Voting

Conduct a highly public voting process that highlights issues and solutions, and culminates at Seafood Expo North America, where the winning project will be announced at the end of the show.

Crowdsource Support

At the SeaWeb Seafood Summit, the winning team publicly presents their challenge and obtains support and input from the broader seafood community and experts brought by SeaWeb.

The winning team is supported throughout their 10-month work phase by subject-matter experts and the Advisory Board.
Project results are presented to the seafood community at the following Seafood Summit.


Engaging New Stakeholders

Broadening the participation of partners and innovators in the sustainable seafood movement to include new geographies and new sectors is important to extending the reach of our impact and increasing our effectiveness at making seafood more environmentally sustainable and socially responsible.

A truly sustainable seafood industry starts and ends with the stakeholders. Taken together, the seafood community has the knowledge and power to revolutionize how seafood is sourced and distributed. The key is engagement of both the agents of change and the sectors that need to change. The Co-Lab is designed to capture the attention both sides of the equation. Innovators have a unique opportunity to float their best ideas through the proposal process and to support change by contributing their expertise to projects. New stakeholders have an easy entry point through the voting process that highlights sustainability concepts through compelling stories.

Supporting collaboration at the project level

The complexity of sustainable seafood challenges more often than not requires a collaborative approach; because collaboration is not always the first choice or easiest path forward, the Seafood Co-Lab steps in to incentivize use of cross-sector, cross-organization/industry cooperation to solve specific challenges.

There are a number of programs that provide professional support to individuals. Co-Lab is different in that it provides professional support not to individuals, but to projects that apply the innovative power of cross-sector collaboration to specific sustainability challenges.

Telling the stories, engaging the community

The Co-Lab competition offers a great opportunity to highlight sustainability stories throughout the supply chain and around the world. After a set of four compelling and competitive projects are selected as finalists by the Advisory Board, a strategic communications campaign will launch to promote the competition and urge stakeholders to vote for the winner. With competing teams telling their stories as part of actively soliciting their communities for votes, Co-Lab can reach, engage, and educate entirely new audiences.

Putting our best resources to work

As we work to engage new stakeholders and advance more collaboration to improve the sustainable seafood movement’s impact, we will connect our existing leaders and innovators with Co-Lab candidates throughout the process.

The Conservation Alliance and SeaWeb Communications have extensive networks of partners and key stakeholders in sustainable seafood whose expertise and experience can be a rich resource for addressing challenges in sustainable seafood. Through the Co-Lab, we will create a public forum for exchanging ideas and solutions where anyone with expertise can contribute, whether they work in seafood or parallel technologies.


Collaboration is a leadership challenge. Unless leaders at the executive level understand and embrace the need for collaboration, you’ll never be able to drive related organisational change through the ’tough spots.’

Chris Ninnes, Aquaculture Stewardship Council

We need something that puts us more in the mindset of businesses. We desperately need a different pace of operation because we move too slow.

Jenn Dianto Kemmerly, Monterey Bay Aquarium

This is model is fantastic. I see it driving much greater collaborative change than anything else out there right now.

Guy Dean, Albion Farms & Fisheries


The seafood community has a long track record of working to solve sustainability challenges. Your organization can build on this by joining Co-Lab as a resource or through a sponsorship.

Collaborate with Co-Lab

Anyone can join our mailing list to receive regular updates on Co-Lab activities and become a part of the crowdsourced problem-solving activities.

Companies and organizations interested in greater involvement can participate at a Collaborator level.

Collaborators serve as subject matter experts and may be asked by the Advisory Board to:

  • join conference calls
  • review proposals requiring in-depth topic expertise
  • directly advise Co-Lab projects.

Sponsor Co-Lab

For $1,000, support collaborative solutions toward sustainable seafood and communities. Your company logo will be featured:

  • in five or more emails to more than 10,000 seafood-interested subscribers
  • on a booth at the Seafood Expo North America in Boston, attended by thousands of seafood professionals.
  • on SeaWeb, Conservation Alliance, and Seafood Summit websites

Co-Lab Sponsors will also benefit from SeaWeb outreach to our following of more than 25,000 individuals, companies and organizations.

The Seafood Co-Lab is a collaborative effort between SeaWeb and the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions.

SeaWeb serves the sustainable seafood community by nourishing a coordinated infrastructure of people and knowledge to guide, inspire and reward the seafood industry’s uptake of sustainable practices.
The Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions connects leading conservation groups from North America, South America, Europe, and Japan that work with businesses throughout the supply chain from fishermen and fish farmers to retailers and restaurants.
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