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Seafood Expo: Aquaculture Stewardship Council Celebrates Fifth Birthday with Rapid Growth

23 April 2015

BELGIUM - The Aquaculture Stewardship Council has seen an increase of 100 per cent in the number of farms certified over the last year.

A total of 146 farms are now fully certified and a further 65 are in the programme being assessed for certification.

The dramatic growth in the number of farms now achieving ASC certification and a rapid growth in the number of products on the retail shelves was announced as the accreditation body celebrated its fifth anniversary at Seafood Expo Global in Brussels.

The ASC came together with its partners and supporters to recognise half a decade of working together on transforming aquaculture towards environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

Around 100 people joined ASC to help celebrate its fifth anniversary. Guests enjoyed samples of ASC certified oysters, supplied by Jersey Oyster Company who was recently certified against the ASC Bivalves Standard.

“I am proud of how far we have come in only five years, especially as our programme has been certifying farms for only half of that time. Our progress has been beyond expectation,” said Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO (pictured).

“In this short period, we have engaged more than 200 farms in the ASC programme of which close to 150 are now certified to the ASC standards. And, we have passed the milestone number of 2,500 ASC labelled products and more than 500,000 metric tons ASC certified seafood.

“That progress would not have been possible without the commitment of the certified farms, those in assessment and the many more that we know are contemplating engaging with the programme. As well as almost 500 Chain of Custody certified companies that move our certified products through the supply chain and the 250 logo licence holders who are driving the market uptake for the ASC logo.

“The response of the market has equalled these supply side commitments as we have seen a growing willingness of retailers, food service companies and brands committing to improving global aquaculture by driving demand for ASC certified seafood. It is through their collective support and commitment to responsible aquaculture that our certification and logo programme has become well established in such a short time. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all those who have joined us on that journey.”

The organisation said that several key global commitments have helped established the ASC as a leader in aquaculture certification.

The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) members, who represent 70 per cent of global salmon aquaculture production, have committed to certifying their farms to the ASC Salmon Standard by 2020.

Five of eight shrimp farms that represent 90 per cent of total farmed shrimp production in Belize have recently become certified.

An estimated 20 per cent of the Vietnamese pangasius production has been certified against the ASC Pangasius Standard.

And, the Rio 2016 Organising Committee is supporting responsible aquaculture by pledging that all farmed seafood for the Rio 2016 Games will be ASC certified.

Commitments such as these truly drive change in aquaculture. Initiated by sector front-runners, they help transform the industry towards environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

The ASC logo was launched in April 2012. In August 2012, Regal Springs Lake Toba tilapia farm in Indonesia became the first farm in the world to gain certification against the ASC standards.

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