Moana New Zealand Blue Abalone has become the first farm to receive ASC certification for responsible aquaculture in New Zealand. The land-based abalone farm, located in Bream Bay in northern New Zealand, received its certificate after a third-party on-site assessment by the independent certification company SCS Global Services.
“I am delighted that Blue Abalone has achieved ASC certification, especially because it is the first out of all aquaculture businesses across New Zealand, and only the fourth abalone operation worldwide, to receive it. It’s an incredibly rigorous process, as it should be. Certification has huge value particularly in terms of being able to use the internationally-recognised ASC logo on our packaging,” said Carl Carrington, Moana New Zealand Chief Executive.
According to Carrington, certification of best practice in environmental and social responsibility is aligned with the ethos of the company. “As the country’s largest Iwi-owned seafood company our values of katitiakitanga and whakatipuranga – of being true to nature and to future generations – are the essence of our efforts in this area,” he said.
The Moana New Zealand Blue Abalone farm is supplied with some of the highest quality ocean seawater in the world through a natural deep-water intake, rich in natural nutrients that give abalone a brilliant blue shell containing black outer and clear white inner flesh. The farm, established as Oceanz Blue limited in 2002, takes charge of the spawning, settling, on-growing and processing as well as marketing of abalone to domestic and international markets. By the end of 2016 the company is expected to reach full production of 140 tonnes per year.
“I am delighted to welcome Moana Blue Abalone farm into the programme”, said Duncan Leadbitter, ASC Commercial Manager Australia and New Zealand. “In recent years, abalone production has increased significantly to meet a growing market demand. We are excited by the farmed abalone industry promoting opportunities for consumers to make a choice in favour of responsible production.”
Moanan Blue Abalone was assessed by the independent third-party certifier SCS Global Services, who also issued the certificate. The final audit report concluded that the farm meets the robust ASC environmental and social requirements for abalone farming. The report is publically available on ASC’s website here.
“This successful certification should give consumers confidence that the abalone they are buying was raised at a responsible farm, and is traceable right back to spawning stage,” said Sabine Daume, SCS Global Service‘s regional seafood certification representative, and team leader for the Moana New Zealand Blue Abalone assessment. “SCS congratulates the Moana on this important achievement.” Information about the steps involved in certification are available at www.scsglobalservices.com/aquaculture-stewardship-council-asc.
The ASC abalone standard addresses the key potential impacts of farming including: ensuring that farms are not sited in areas with key biological or ecological functions; setting rigorous criteria to minimise disease outbreaks; and requiring farms to measure various parameters such as nitrogen and sulphide at regular intervals and to remain within set limits. It also mandates that all workers have freedom of association, employment contracts in line with International Labour Organization (ILO) regulations no child-labour, and consultation with communities in which farms are situated about farm operations.
Since the first farm was certified in 2012, participation in the ASC scheme has grown nearly 98 percent each year. Although the programme is still young, there are currently 370 ASC certified farms in 63 countries and more than 7,000 consumer products available for purchase worldwide.