Seafood consumption is on the rise. However, for Muslim consumers and businesses, the halal nature of seafood is particularly important.
Understanding whether seafood requires halal certification is not only crucial for seafood consumption by Muslims, but also for F&B businesses wanting to target the growing Muslim consumer market.
- 1 Is Seafood Halal?
- 2 The Debate: Is Seafood Always Halal?
- 3 Does Seafood Require Halal Certification?
- 4 How To Get Halal Certification For Seafood?
- 5 Benefits Of Halal Seafood Certification
- 6 Contact Us
- 7 Get in Touch
- 8 Featured Insights
- 9 Get in Touch
Is Seafood Halal?
Before diving into whether or not seafood requires halal certification, it’s important to first address a common question – is seafood halal in itself?
Fish (“Samak”), in general, is considered to be halal. This consensus is based on several verses in the Quran, which state that the consumption of seafood is lawful.
Surah Al-Ma’idah (5:96) declares, “Lawful to you is the pursuit of water-game and its use for food – for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel…”
The verse from Surah Al-Ma’idah is often interpreted to mean that all forms of seafood – fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and others – are permissible for Muslims to eat.
The Debate: Is Seafood Always Halal?
Where there is no real debate on the halal nature of fish as a whole, there are different schools of thought regarding what is considered a fish.
Based on the verse from Surah Al-Ma’idah above, some scholars are of the school of thought, which argues that all seafood is halal. Others say that only fish are considered
However, other scholars and schools of thought have a different opinion. They say that not all seafood is halal, but only that which is considered to be fish “samak.”
They base their argument on a hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, in which the Prophet Muhammad said:
“Two types of dead meat and two types of blood have been made lawful for our consumption: The two dead meats are fish and locusts, and the two types of blood are liver and spleen.” (Ibn Majah- 3314)
According to this hadith, fish and locusts are the only exceptions to the general rule that dead animals are not halal unless they are slaughtered according to Islamic law.
Does Seafood Require Halal Certification?
Seafood should have halal certification from a reliable and trustworthy authority, as a certifying body can guide you through the nuance of the international halal standards. Additionally, even if the species is halal, it would be essential to have halal certification as an assurance of the halal integrity of the production process, as there are many steps where a halal species may loose its halal status if not processed, handled, or produced in the right manner.
By having halal certification for seafood products, Muslim consumers can ensure that they are free from any haram substances or practices that might contaminate them or make them unlawful.
At the same time, F&B businesses can also assure their Muslim customers that the seafood products they are offering are safe and compliant with their religious beliefs.
How To Get Halal Certification For Seafood?
For businesses in the F&B industry, obtaining halal certification for seafood can be a strategic move, especially if they are looking to cater to a diverse Muslim target market.
Here are some general guidelines on how to get halal certification for seafood through the American Halal Foundation (AHF) – a leading and authorized global halal certification provider:
- Application and Documentation: The first step is to submit an application detailing business and seafood products. F&B business operators are required to provide necessary documentation about your sourcing, processing, and handling practices.
- Facility Inspection: The next step is for F&B businesses to prepare for a thorough inspection of their facility to ensure compliance with halal standards – focusing on areas like storage, processing lines, and utensils.
- Staff Training: After the facility inspection is completed, AHF’s account executive will provide staff training to manage halal processes, and also raise awareness regarding the importance of maintaining halal compliance.
- Certification and Renewal: Once businesses pass the inspection and meet all requirements, they will receive their halal certification, which is subject to regular renewal and compliance checks.
F&B businesses applying for halal certification through AHF can track and verify their halal certificate through their online database here.
Also, read more on AHF’s detailed halal certification process.
Benefits Of Halal Seafood Certification
For F&B businesses that are on the line about whether to pursue halal certification for their seafood products, understanding the main benefits it can bring is vital:
Getting halal seafood certification can increase the market share and customer base of F&B businesses significantly, as it will put them in a better position to cater to the growing demand and preference for halal products among Muslim consumers, who make up about a quarter of the world’s population and spend billions of dollars on halal food every year.
2. Enhancing Export Potential
Muslim spending on food approximately accounts for 13.8% of the global food spending. A significant proportion of this is accounted by Muslim-majority countries, many of which have an increasing demand for halal-certified food products.
Acquiring halal seafood certification will allow F&B businesses to increase their seafood exports to these Muslim-majority markets, subsequently enabling them to increase their revenues and profitability significantly.
Read more on the export potential from halal certification in GCC/ MENA countries.
3. Increased Competitive Edge and Profitability
Halal seafood certification can also help businesses improve their competitiveness and profitability by gaining access to new and lucrative market segments, especially in non-Muslim majority countries accounting for an increasing demand for halal food.
Halal certified products are often sold at a premium in these markets as businesses can use the halal certification symbol as a marketing tool to increase their margins, leading to improved profitability.
As a leading international halal certification body, the American Halal Foundation (AHF) has expertise in providing halal certification services for a wide range of products, including seafood.
To learn more about our halal certification services and how we can help you grow your business, get in touch with our expert here.
We look forward to hearing from you and serving you with excellence.