Operational Standards Review

Expected completion: August 2017 (partially, other elements to be completed after)
Contact person:
Iain Pollard

The goal of the ASC standards is to provide a means to measurably improve the environmental and social performance of aquaculture operations. This operational review aims to ensure continued relevance and effectiveness of the pangasius, tilapia and salmon standards in terms of inclusion of the industry best practice. It is not intended that this will be a full review of the ASC standards, rather a focussed review on areas where the effectiveness of a standard is not as anticipated during the Aquaculture Dialogues or will not deliver on the intent as set out in ASC's Theory of Change.

During the round of public consultation on the Terms of Reference we received various comments from stakeholders suggesting what topics should be reviewed. The first topics that will be addressed are:

Salmon Standard, Forage Fish Dependency Ratio (FFDR)
Salmon Standard, Parasiticide Treatment Index (PTI)
Tilapia Standard, Antibiotics

Last update: 06-12-2016

Contents of this page

Project timeline & important dates
Public consultation
Public consultation on proposed updates to the ASC Salmon, Pangasius and Tilapia Standard

 Project timeline & important dates


This is a tentative timeline of events. Changes may occur in the planning of this project. 

 Public consultation

There are currently no documents open to public consultation.

  • Closed - Public consultation on the Terms of Reference
    16 March - 15 April 2015

Consultation document: Terms of Reference (TOR)

Received feedback:
These are the original comments on the TOR we received during the public consultation period. We also received comments on contents of the ASC Pangasius, Tilapia and Salmon Standards. Therefore we publish original comments including comments on contents of 3 standards: Pangasius Standard, Tilapia Standard and Salmon standard.

  • Closed - Public consultation on the Initial Papers for Review
    05 November - 20 December 2015

Consultation documents:
Salmon Standard, Forage Fish Dependency Ratio (FFDR)

Salmon Standard, Parasiticide Treatment Index (PTI)
Tilapia Standard, Antibiotics

Public Consultation on Proposed updates to the ASC Salmon, Pangasius and Tilapia Standards

Based on stakeholder feedback received from the consultations on the Operational Review Terms of Reference and initial papers the ASC has drafted sets of proposed updates to these standards, see files listed on this website. The updates aim to address stakeholder comments and at the same time resolve operational issues arising from the internal reviews of certification reports. A summary and introduction is provided below.

Responding to feedback relating to the Salmon PTI requirements the ASC has set up a working group that is meeting regularly to define a suitable alternative indicator. The working group includes technical experts from academia, NGOs, the production sector and is facilitated by ASC. It is the objective of the group to set the indicator in a way that meets the ASC's Theory of Change and influences the uptake of sealice management best practice.

The working group is expected to reach a conclusion in December 2016. Their proposals will be reviewed by the ASC's Technical Advisory Group and then subsequently posted for public consultation.

It was clear from the Salmon FFDR paper and subsequent feedback that stakeholder views vary considerably around the value of a FFDR requirement and also around the need for one at all. The ASC accepts that there are strong arguments for eliminating the FFDR requirement if the wild fish being used to make feed is sustainable. And that having a salmon industry dependent on wild fish is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact there are benefits of encouraging responsible aquaculture dependence on wild fisheries including maintaining leverage over promoting their sustainable harvest. And furthermore, without sustainable alternatives to marine ingredients switching from them to another source brings risks of unintended impacts to that source, be it soy, palm or something else.

ASC will be continuing to work on this area as part of the fish feed standard under development. And aim to resolve these challenges to ensure a logical solution that meets ASC Theory of Change. However, in the meantime in order to take a precautionary approach to the exploitation of marine resources the ASC is proposing to reduce the FFDR level in the Salmon standard.

Stakeholder feedback regarding antibiotic use was entirely supportive of prohibiting the use of antibiotics critical for human medicine. And further, limiting the use of any antibiotics for Tilapia and Pangasius to be in line with other ASC standards such as Salmon. It is therefore being proposed to both prohibit and limit antibiotics in the ASC Tilapia and Pangasius Standards.

In addition to these papers the ASC is proposing a suite of other updates to the standards to address other operational issues and comments raised. These are detailed in the papers provided below together with a list of items  in progress that the ASC is still working on.

The consultation period will run for two months after which the ASC aims to publish the revised versions of the standards. Your comments will help to determine whether the proposed changes are viable or whether there needs to be any final amendments made to the proposals in order for the revised standards to be published. We're looking forward to your feedback.

Stakeholder feedback comment form - Deadline for submissions - 6 Feb 2017


  • Pangasius

ASC Pangasius Standard - Operational review track changes

Proposals summary - Pangasius


  • Salmon

ASC Salmon Standard - Operational review track changes 

Proposals summary - Salmon


  • Tilapia

 ASC Tilapia Standard - Operational review track changes

 Proposals summary - Tilapia



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