The robust standards are the result of the Aquaculture Dialogues, a set of multi-stakeholder round-tables that brought together more than 2,000 aquaculture stakeholders. To find out how the standards were developed see Aquaculture Dialogues: Creation of the initial standards.
The ASC standards focus on both the environmental and social impact of farming.
- Environmentally, farms must show that they actively minimise their impact on the surrounding natural environment. This extends to careful management of the fish health and resources.
- Socially, farms must be a good and conscientious neighbour; that means operating their farm in a socially responsible manner, caring for their employees and working with the local community.
The current eight ASC standards cover 12 species: abalone, bivalves (clams, mussels, oyster, scallop), freshwater trout, pangasius, salmon, shrimp, tilapia, seriola and cobra:
The standards cover seven principles that address the key impacts of aquaculture:
- Legal compliance (obeying the law, the legal right to be there)
- 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)
Our standards for responsible aquaculture are based on best practices and sound science. The measurable, metric- and performance-based standards apply globally to farming systems covering a range of locations, types and scales of operations. To ensure a credible, inclusive and transparent standard setting process the standards were developed in line with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) guidelines and ISEAL’s (International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling) Codes of Good Practice. All ASC standards are also managed in compliance with the ISEAL Standard Setting Code and ASC Standard Setting Procedure
For all inquiries and feedback on any of the ASC standards, please fill in the form and send it to the Standards and Science Team at:
HNK Utrecht Centraal, Arthur van Schendelstraat 650
3511 MJ Utrecht, The Netherlands