A growing threat
The increase of production required to feed the growing population will be impossible without large-scale changes in the world’s food systems. We urgently need to accelerate the transition to sustainable and responsible production.
Responsible production of farmed fish is a huge challenge and has to take into account large, complex and dynamic sets of interactions in order to put in place effective management plans that are not a trade-off for aquaculture’s production benefits.
Unacceptable social trade-offs in aquaculture may include the abuse of workers’ and community rights, policies that favour large operators, inequality and discrimination, slavery and child labour.
Unacceptable environmental trade-offs in aquaculture may include the degradation and the disruption of an ecosystem, contribution to climate change, and loss of biodiversity.
The principles of the ASC standard for responsible aquaculture
Environmental and Social responsibility are the key pillars upon which the ASC programme is based but to address important environmental and social impacts effectively, the ASC standards for responsible farming have been organised around seven core principles, which require:
- legal compliance with national and local laws and regulations
- preservation of natural habitats, local biodiversity and ecosystem
- preservation of water resources and quality
- responsible use of feed and other resources
- preservation of the diversity of the wild population
- improved fish health and controlled and responsible use of antibiotics and chemicals
- farms to be socially responsible toward their workers and the local community.
When aquaculture is produced in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner, it contributes to long-term food security and nutrition, healthy ecosystems and improves the living standards of all, especially the poorest.