Aquaculture is criticized for its potential negative impacts on the environment and for its consequences on fish welfare. One solution to these problems and a promising development track for the German aquaculture sector is the adoption of sustainable production methods. The establishment of a new market segment for domestic sustainable fish would accommodate to the trend towards ethical consumerism. So far, only little is known about the consumers’ knowledge and perception of sustainable aquaculture. Against this background the present contribution aims to explore perceptions and knowledge of German consumers with regard to sustainable aquaculture, its production systems and related labels by using focus groups. Recommendations for further communication of sustainable aquaculture to consumers are deduced. One central result is that consumers were mainly unfamiliar with aquaculture in general. However, they had some clear expectations towards sustainable aquaculture. The use of drugs should be minimized; production systems should be close to nature and should respect fish welfare. Obviously, participants deduced their understanding of aquaculture from theirs of terrestrial animal husbandry. The study also shows consumers’ low awareness of the existing sustainability labels on the German market.