First farm in Australia gains ASC certification
Tassal Operations’ Macquarie Harbour Farm has become the first farm in Australia to achieve certification against the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Standard for responsible aquaculture.
Salmon produced by the Macquarie Harbour Farm on the west coast of Tasmania can now be labelled with the ASC logo. This logo helps consumers make an informed choice when shopping for seafood.
The certification was awarded after an assessment carried out by SCS Global Services (SCS), an independent, accredited certification body. The assessment was conducted against the ASC Salmon Standard showing that the stock is healthy and that the farm is well managed.
Mark Ryan from Tassal said “We are proud to be the first company in Australia to gain global recognition for our commitment to responsible aquaculture. Tassal places the highest value on innovation and on supporting our local community. Achieving certification against the ASC Salmon Standard means that consumers can be assured that our salmon has been farmed with minimal impact on the environment and society.”
Tassal are now seeking ASC certification for their remaining farms, which will have been assessed by the end of September at which point all of their products should be able to carry the ASC label.
“I am thrilled to see the ASC salmon farm programme entering a new continent,” said Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO. “The certification of Macquarie Harbour Farm in Australia follows the five operations in Norway that have already gained certification against the ASC Salmon Standard. North and South America is next, with producers in Canada and Chile awaiting the outcome of their assessments.
“I expect to see the availability of ASC responsibly farmed salmon grow rapidly in the months to come. With new partners such as AEON Japan and Loblaw in North America committed to sourcing certified seafood we are confident that the demand for the ASC programme and market interest in ASC labelled products will continue to increase rapidly. In the last 3 months alone over 150 products have been launched.”
Meeting the growing demand for seafood responsibly
The demand for healthy food is increasing with a global population that is estimated to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. Aquaculture is a solution to meet the growing demand for fish while reducing the pressure on wild capture fisheries. By 2018, more than half of the fish consumed globally will come from aquaculture. However, when aquaculture is not well managed, it can have adverse impacts.
The ASC certification programme recognises and rewards responsible farming activities, focusing on environmental conservation and social responsibilities.
ASC labelled seafood can be traced back through the supply chain to a responsibly managed fish farm. To gain chain of custody certification companies must adhere to strict requirements and show proof that they have traceability systems in place to ensure that no product mixing or substitutions occur.
Salmon farms that have been certified to the ASC standard can demonstrate that they deliver a cleaner seabed, cleaner water and healthier fish, preserve the diversity of the species and wild population, and follow strict feed requirements and ensuring social responsibility.