A growing number of tilapia farms are getting third-party certification from such organizations as the Global Aquaculture Alliance, Aquaculture Stewardship Council, and Naturland. The same is true of shrimp, catfish, and other types of fish farms.
To be certified, the farms must meet standards that take into account environmental and community issues, animal welfare, food safety, and traceability, among other factors. Tilapia farms must, for instance, be managed to control for escaped fish, drug and chemical use, and soil and water conservation.
Many major retailers in the U.S. sell certified tilapia (and other fish). For example, tilapia from Sam’s Club, Target, Walmart, and Darden Restaurants, among other large chains, has “Best Aquaculture Practices” (BAP) certification from GAA.
Meanwhile, Whole Foods has developed its own “Responsibly Farmed” logo for seafood including tilapia, which is backed by annual third-party audits of its suppliers.
You can check for these and other sustainability logos on frozen tilapia products or ask the fishmonger about the source of fresh tilapia.