The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Vietnamese Directorate of Fisheries (D-Fish) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) pledging to work together to promote responsible aquaculture in Vietnam through a step-wise approach from VietGAP to ASC certification.
Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO, and Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, deputy director general of D-Fish, signed the MoU in Hanoi on the eve of the Responsible Business Forum.
Last year the government of Vietnam set a decree that pangasius farming, processing and exporting must be certified to VietGAP or equivalent standards by the end of 2015; this project is further evidence of the government’s commitment to developing a sustainable aquaculture sector.
“The Vietnamese government is committed to reducing the negative impacts of fish farming in the country,” Dr. Pham Anh Tuan said. “Building on the mandate that farms must meet VietGAP standards, this project will help move farms towards an internationally recognised standard, provide access to international markets and ensure a more responsible aquaculture sector.”
The organisations will implement a joint project to create guidance for VietGAP certified farmers to help them progress to ASC certification. The project will allow farms to make step-by-step improvements in their practices with the goal of reaching the ASC standard.
“I am delighted to sign this MoU today,” Ninnes said. “Through this project ASC is engaging with a tier of farmers that are currently not able to meet the ASC requirements, including smallholders, who will benefit from greater support in delivering improvements in their practices. This approach also means that ASC becomes a more efficient service provider by reducing costs for producers who wish to gain ASC certification.”
Aquaculture certification plays an important role in promoting and assuring responsible practices that protect the environment and communities, while also benefiting society. This project has the potential to lead to greater collaboration between the two organisations by adopting the area-based management approach.
The project will be led by an external consultant.