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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Seafood List

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Updated July 2024

The Seafood List (SFL) is FDA's Guidance to Acceptable Market Names for Seafood sold in Interstate Commerce. It is provided as a searchable database to assist with naming of fish species. This Main search page displays the Type of fish, Acceptable Market Name(s), Common Name(s), and Scientific Name. A hyperlink from the Scientific Name will open a Detail Page with additional information for that species to include the following when available: DNA sequence information, the Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN), link to the Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance when hazards reasonably likely to occur have been identified, and vernacular name(s). Refer to the information below for explanations of the information available in the Seafood List.

The Acceptable Market Name and the Common Names, not prohibited by law, rule, or regulation, may be used to label seafood products in interstate commerce. When the fish species is not listed in the Seafood List, consult “Section VI. Principles for Determining Acceptable Names” of the Guidance for Industry: The Seafood List FDA’s Guide to Determine Acceptable Seafood Names (Seafood List Guidance) to determine a particular acceptable market name for use in interstate commerce.

Under the Endangered Species Act, anyone under the jurisdiction of the US is prohibited from selling and/or offering to sell endangered species in interstate or foreign commerce. Refer to the Endangered Species Act Implementation | NOAA Fisheries website for additional provisions to include prohibited actions. Endangered species should not be identified on the Seafood List. As the endangered species listings evolve, endangered species may inadvertently be on the Seafood List. Consult the endangered species lists at Species Directory | NOAA Fisheries, or ECOS: Species Reports (fws.gov) to determine whether the species is identified as an endangered species. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure endangered species are not offered for sale in interstate commerce in the U.S. Please contact the Division of Seafood Safety at 240-402-2300 or by email at seafoodhaccp@fda.gov if an endangered species is listed in the Seafood List.

The Seafood List is updated every six months, as resources permit. Summaries of the updates are posted on the Seafood List Guidance page. The updates include new listings, and modifications to existing listings to include scientific name changes based on updated scientific nomenclature.

For questions and feedback regarding The Seafood List, please contact the Division of Seafood Safety at 240-402-2300 or by email at seafoodhaccp@fda.gov. You may submit either electronic or written comments regarding The Seafood List at any time. To ensure that the Agency considers your comment regarding The Seafood List, submit electronic comments to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All comments should be identified with the docket number FDA-1994-D-0221 (formerly 94D-0265).

Searching the SFL: A “Basic Search” is the default search mode for finding a species which is usually sufficient; however, the “Advanced Search” and “Field Search” tabs are available for selective searching options. The “Advanced Search” allows for multiple criteria to be used to narrow the objective of the search. The “Field Search” allows a specific column search.

The Seafood List is sorted alphabetically (A to Z) by default using the “Scientific Name” column. Clicking on a different column heading in the Seafood List will sort the list alphabetically (A to Z) by that column. Double clicking on the sorted header will reverse the display order (Z to A).

The Seafood List contains the following information either on the Main Search Page (MP) or the Detail Page (DP):

  • Type: Indicates the classification of the fish. The abbreviations are as follows: V = Vertebrate; I = Invertebrate; and I(C) = Invertebrate (Crustacean). Located on the MP.
  • Requirements (R): Indicates there is an established law, rule, or regulation that is linked to that listing which provides the requirements for naming the fish either as “must be used” or “prohibited from use.” A link to the specific law, rule, or regulation is provided on the Detail Page to make the name determination. The "R" is used to identify the column located on the MP with the specific requirement identified and linked on the DP.
    • (♦) Diamond symbol1 (Formerly the (*) Asterisk): Indicates the name(s) that must be used for that species
    • (†) Dagger symbol1: Indicates the name(s) prohibited from use for that species
  • Scientific Names: Identifies the Latin name of the fish species through binomial nomenclature which are assigned by taxonomists/ichthyologists in scientific literature. Located on the MP and DP.
  • Acceptable Market Name(s): Identifies the fish to the U.S. consumers. Located on the MP and DP.
  • Common Name(s): Identifies additional names of a specific fish to the U.S. consumer. Located on the MP and DP.
  • Vernacular Name(s): Identifies names that are not acceptable for use and may cause the fish to be misbranded. They are included in the Seafood List for cross-reference purposes ONLY. Vernacular names are regional names that may assist a search of the database to identify the acceptable names or common names for a species. This listing is not complete and does not account for many names used around the world. Vernacular names are listed in a separate column with red print to emphasize that they should not be used. Located on the MP (when used in a search) and DP.
  • DNA Identifier: Hyperlinks are provided to DNA sequence information contained in the FDA Reference Standard Sequence Library for Seafood Identification (RSSL) that can be used to confirm the identity of many of the species in the Seafood List. It should be noted that for some closely related species, additional gene regions may be required. Additional DNA sequences will be added as they become available. A hyperlink to reference sequences for the specific species is provided on the DP only.
  • Law: Identifies and hyperlinks to the statutory law, rule, or regulation when the diamond (♦) [formerly asterisk (*)] or dagger (†) symbols are present. Located on the DP only.
  • TSN: Identifies the Taxonomic Serial Number assigned by the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). A hyperlink to the specific species is provided on the DP only.
  • HAZ: Identifies there is a potential hazard reasonably likely to occur with this species. A hyperlink provides access to Chapter 3: Potential Species Related and Processed Related Food Safety Hazards [PDF] in the Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance (The Guide). Some of the species in The Seafood List do not have an active HAZ hyperlink. This does not mean that there are no hazards for this species. It is the responsibility of the processor to review the information in The Guide and elsewhere to determine if a potential species or process related hazard exists for a particular species. Located on the DP only.
  • Image: Photographs of certain fish species are available. Additional images will be uploaded as they become available. Located on the DP only.

Footnote 1: Historically FDA (we) has used the diamond (♦) [formerly asterisk (*)] and dagger (†) symbols to denote specific names identified in laws, rules, or regulations, that can only be used on certain fish and those that are prohibited from use; however, we have also used the symbols to draw attention to names so industry does not utilize that name or a variation thereof for naming other fish species.

Download the SFL: The basic data in the Seafood List is available for download to include the following fields: Type, Acceptable Market Name(s), Common Name(s), and Scientific Name. The Seafood List data is updated twice a year. The output is an Excel .csv file which may be opened or saved as .csv or standard Excel format. Click on the Download Data link below to access the data.

Download The Seafood List data in Microsoft Excel web format Download data from this searchable database in Excel format. If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.
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Records Found: 1 Page 1 of 1

Type R Scientific Name Acceptable
Market Name(s)

(sorted A-Z)
Common Name(s)