The ASC has today announced the launch of a new standard for Seabass, Seabream and Meagre.
The standard was developed in response to stakeholder demand for the species, which has historically been strong in European markets. Production of Seabass, Seabream and Meagre has grown in recent years, particularly in Turkey and Greece, to also meet the rising demand for the species in markets such as Japan, the Middle East and North America.
“The release of the Seabass, Seabream and Meagre Standards is an exciting development and another milestone for the programme,” said Chris Ninnes, CEO of ASC. “The introduction of this standard helps further our mission to drive widespread improvements in the aquaculture industry and provide lasting benefits that will protect the environment, farm workers, and local communities.”
Using metrics, including but not restricted to, some prohibitions on the use of antibiotics and measurements of dissolved oxygen levels, the standard establishes best practices for farming all species in the genera Dicentrarcus, Sparus, Pagrus and Argyrosomus. The standard was created by using a combination of indicators from existing multi-stakeholder developed standards and the creation of additional metrics to address the specific impacts of farming Seabass, Seabream and Meagre. For the new requirements, ASC worked with NGOs and industry partners and completed multiple site visits to countries including Greece, Turkey and Japan to develop unique metrics including prohibitions on the siting of farms near seagrass meadows to protect these important areas from the potential negative impacts of aquaculture.
In keeping with the ASC’s drive to ensure a credible, inclusive and transparent standard setting process the Seabass, Seabream and Meagre standard was developed in line with ISEAL’s Code of Good Practice for Standard Setting. The process involved two rounds of public consultation on the draft standards, and all relevant documentation and reports are available online.
The standard for Seabass, Seabream and Meagre now enters a six-month effective period. During this time, farms can read the newly released standard and use the resources on the ASC website to review the requirements necessary to become certified and find a CAB qualified to perform audits to the new standard at the completion of the six-month effective period.