Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified responsibly farmed tilapia was in the spotlight during a visit to tilapia farm, Trapia Malaysia, last week.
The visit to the farm, located at Lake Temengor in the state of Perak, was organised by WWF-Malaysia as part of the Asia-wide Sustainable Seafood Festival (SSF). Fifteen Malaysian seafood retailers, distributors, restaurant owners and chefs learnt about Trapia’s sustainable farming practices and gained a better understanding of responsible fish farming.
Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO applauded the initiative: “It’s great to hear about WWF-Malaysia taking the lead in introducing responsible tilapia aquaculture to their stakeholders. It is paramount to engage with the market at a grass root level and encourage the supply chain to commit to responsible seafood sourcing.
“Trapia is the first farm in Malaysia to gain certification against ASC’s rigorous Tilapia Standard. They are a clear example of how a focus on environmental stewardship and social responsibility is recognised and rewarded through the ASC certification programme.”
Alejandro Tola Alvarez, Chief Technical Officer, GenoMar AS explains how ASC certification fits into Trapia Malaysia’s sustainability strategy: “We want to be with the best in the industry and show our stakeholders that we are a responsible organisation.”
“ASC certification provides additional assurance and trust to our shareholders. A positive aspect of the ASC standard is that it brings a stronger multi-stakeholder perspective in the company’s decision making processes which at the end becomes just ‘the way you think.”
Sustainable Seafood Festival in Asia
The Sustainable Seafood Festival is a new initiative introduced by WWF and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). This year’s campaign ran from 8 to 15 June across four different countries in the region: Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
Tied with the World Oceans Day, the goal of the week-long festival is to encourage responsible seafood consumption by empowering suppliers, retailers, restaurants and consumers to choose responsibly produced seafood. The campaign aims to drive sustainability throughout the entire seafood supply chain.
Other SSF initiatives included the successful Japanese ASC pangasius launch organised by AEON, Japan’s largest retailer, and WWF-Japan in Tokyo on 5 June. And, WWF-Canada honoured the lead up to World Oceans Day on 4 June by organising a sampling of ASC certified responsibly farmed tilapia with the support of Loblaws.
Certification and labelling programme for responsible aquaculture
Since the launch of the ASC logo in April 2012, the ASC programme has developed in the Asian region. There are now ASC approved products across China, Hong Kong, Japan, Republic of South Korea, and Taiwan. Japan leads the way with more than 60 approved ASC certified products, with four being consumer-facing products available in AEON stores.
Products carrying the ASC logo can be traced to a responsibly managed farm through the supply chain. Companies are assessed against strict requirements before they can become ASC Chain of custody certified.