They also assist producers in product development, education and training with the aim of improving their organization and marketing.
Most fish products sold with Fair Trade labels are frozen or processed products such as canned tuna. The main markets for these products have been found in Western Europe, especially Germany and the Netherlands.
Several countries fear that their sovereign right to fishery management might be infringed by eco-labelling schemes. However, eco-labels may be attractive to consumers in some markets but it is not clear if consumers are willing to pay enough to cover the costs. If not, the costs will have to be born by producers. With 50 percent of fish exports coming from developing countries, this fact will have particular consequences for producers in these countries. However, eco-labels can also have the effect of an additional tool in fisheries management, alongside more traditional controls.
Large segments of consumers in many important markets for fish and fishery products are increasingly concerned about the sustainability of fish stocks. It is also clear that these consumers take a special interest in products with specific labels certifying the sustainability of the resource or the use of environmentally friendly production methods.
Examples of such labels are the ecolabel of the Marine Stewardship Council, "organic aquaculture" labels and "dolphin-safe tuna" labels.
With the increase in use of labels, the criteria of certification and the role of the certifier become important. Today, many of the labels are being certified by external entities but there are no internationally recognised guidelines or generally agreed certification criteria for how this should be done.