Why certify aquaculture
Why certification is important?
As the world population grows, so too does the demand for fish. Fish is a high protein, low fat, healthy and nutritionally rich food.
But traditional methods of capture fishing can't possibly meet the demand. Fishing resources are finite and 86%* of marine fish stocks are either fully exploited or overfished. Marine fishing has reached the limit of its supply.
Aquaculture is the solution. It has the capacity to meet global demand while reducing the pressure on wild capture fisheries. Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production system in the world and, more than half of the fish consumed globally comes from aquaculture*.
But the rapid rise in demand for farmed fish presents new problems. When aquaculture is not well managed, it can have a range of adverse impacts, for example: poor site management, water pollution, disruption of local ecosystems and poor working conditions. The faster the aquaculture industry grows, the greater its potential impact on the environment and local communities. Now is the time to address this.
By promoting better managed fish farming we can meet the growing demand while minimising environmental and social impacts.
* Economic Analysis of Supply and Demand for Food up to 2030 - Special Focus on Fish and Fishery products, 2014, FAO
What do the ASC standards do?
The ASC standards help protect communities and the environment, and work to ensure the ongoing viability of the aquaculture industry.
The ASC standards present a rigorous template for best practice and relate to:
- Legal compliance (obeying the law, the legal right to operate)
- Preservation of the natural environment and biodiversity
- Preservation of water resources
- Preservation of diversity of species and wild populations (e.g., preventing escapes which could pose a threat to wild fish)
- Responsible use of animal feed and other resources
- Animal health (no unnecessary use of antibiotics and chemicals)
- Social responsibility (e.g. no child labour, health and safety of workers, freedom of assembly, community relations)
The benefits of ASC certification
There are significant pragmatic reasons for farms to invest in the ASC programme.
- Strengthen your position in existing markets and tap into new markets.
- Enhance market value through greater credibility within the industry and among consumers.
- Adopt industry best practices (e.g. through efficient use of feed and the better control of disease) to promote competitive advantage as an industry front-runner.
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Read more about the benefits of ASC certification.