GLOBAL - The Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s (ASC) salmon certification programme continues to grow steadily since its launch in summer 2012. In less than three years, it has welcomed 50 salmon farms into its certification scheme for responsible salmon aquaculture.
With the recent news of the first salmon farm in North America gaining ASC certification, and the continued commitment from the Global Salmon Initiative, the programme is set to grow over the coming years.
“I am delighted with the tremendous growth of our salmon programme. This achievement is thanks to the contribution of our partners who have been supporting the ASC since the beginning,” said Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO.
“Not only have we seen a great number of farms certified against the standard since its launch. There are also close to 600 approved salmon products carrying the ASC logo for responsible salmon aquaculture worldwide.”
Globally 28 farms now meet the requirements of the ASC Salmon Standard, representing a production value of nearly 100,000 metric tons. And, a further 22 farms are awaiting the outcome of their assessment against the standard. The farms are spread over four continents and countries including Australia, Canada, Chile and Norway.
Global initiative to drive salmon farming towards sustainability
The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI), comprised of 17 member companies* that represent over 70 per cent of the global salmon production, has committed to certifying all of its member farms to the ASC Salmon Standard by 2020.
“Choosing the ASC standard as a benchmark for our progress was a well-considered decision for GSI, but more importantly it’s a decision which represents a monumental move for the industry that will forever change the way we operate,” José Ramón Gutiérrez, Executive President, Multiexport Foods.
The GSI is committed to ensuring that the salmon farming industry can deliver a responsibly produced source of healthy protein for a growing global population. The initiative aims to make significant improvement across three pillars of sustainability: environmental impact, social responsibility and economic sustainability.
First salmon farm in North America gains ASC certification
In January 2015, the Marine Harvest Canada Marsh Bay Farm in British Colombia became the first salmon farm in North America to gain certification against the ASC Salmon Standard for responsible aquaculture.
According to Clare Backman, Public Affairs Director Marine Harvest Canada, the certification of the Marsh Bay Farm “validates our commitment to align our operations with the toughest standard and highest environmental and social principles.”
Marine Harvest, one of the founding members of GSI, already has eight Norwegian salmon farms certified against the ASC standard.
Credible standard for responsible salmon aquaculture
By meeting the ASC Salmon Standard, certified salmon farms must demonstrate that they use responsible aquaculture practises that minimise their environmental and social impact.
ASC certified farms deliver a cleaner seabed, cleaner water and healthier fish; preserve the diversity of the species and wild population; adhere to strict feed requirements and ensure social responsibility.
ASC labelled salmon can be traced back through the supply chain to a responsibly managed fish farm. To achieve chain of custody certification each company in the supply chain must meet strict requirements and have in place traceability systems that ensure no product mixing or substitutions can occur.
ASC certified salmon is easily recognised by the on-pack ASC logo. The logo ensures that the fish is sourced from an independently certified salmon farming operation.
TheFishSite News Desk