Salmon farming took off in the 1980s and now accounts for the majority of salmon eaten around the world.
As the industry grew, some farming practices risked damaging surrounding environments and ecosystems, such as wild salmon populations migrating past farms.
Actively managing these potential impacts –including following best practice to protect the environment, monitoring and measuring their practice and making that information publicly available– is a requirement of ASC certified farms.
This video is from a documentary series made by independent Norwegian journalist and part-time angler Frank Halvorsen, looking into the impact and pros and cons of salmon farming.
The ASC Salmon Standard is the most stringent standard that exists for farmed salmon, containing over 100 requirements covering social, environmental, and welfare issues including:
- Farms must closely monitor water and seabed quality at and around the farm and various parameters such as oxygen and phosphorus levels must remain within set limits
- Farms must keep their fish healthy by preventing disease outbreaks and developing a Fish Health Management Plan
- There are strict limits on chemical and antibiotic use
- Farms must monitor and maintain biodiversity, and work with other farms in the area (even if neighbouring farms are not ASC certified)
- Feed must be sourced responsibly from sustainable sources
- Farm workers must be treated and paid fairly, and provided with all appropriate health and safety training
- Farms must actively consult with neighbouring communities if necessary