The farming operation of Tropical Aquaculture in Ecuador, Aquamar, has been awarded with the ASC certificate for their responsible farmed tilapia. Aquamar is the first tilapia farm in the Americas to receive the ASC certification. Aquamar is one of the largest tilapia farming facilities in Ecuador and the Americas, producing about 13,000 tons of live tilapia annually in a land based pond aquaculture system.
Enrico Delfini, Aquamar’s owner, is delighted with the recognition by the independent certifiers for their responsible farming operation: “Sustainability has been a passion for our family and our company from day one. ASC certification is the culmination of over six years of hard work for our farm and is a testament of Alfonso Jr’s legacy to our farm and the tilapia farming community”.
The late Alfonso Delfini Jr, owner and farm manager of Aquamar and founding member of Tropical was appointed to the Tilapia Aquaculture Dialogues’ steering committee.
For ASC, awarding the first farm in Americas is another milestone. “Soon the first ASC tilapia will hit the market in America.The supply to Europe will also increase. This positive progress is a clear sign that ASC is reaching its full potential to become the world’s leading certification and labelling programme for aquaculture” said Chris Ninnes, ASC CEO.
First American certifier accredited for farm and Chain of Custody audits
On 25 October, Control Union Peru, became the first accredited certifier in the American for tilapia and pangasius farm audits and Chain of Custody audits. This will allow American producers easier access to becoming ASC certified for their responsible farming methods. “This is a crucial landmark for the further development of ASC’s ambitious goals for the American industry. We already see an impressive level of interest from this market, which is hugely encouraging.” said Chris Ninnes, ASC CEO.
At the moment five tilapia farms have been awarded the ASC certification and four Pangasius farms. More farms are expected to become certified soon, as a number of audits are planned for the upcoming period. Many audits are taking place so more will follow shortly. Following tilapia and pangasius, other fish species will also soon be ASC-certified: bivalves (clams, mussels, oysters and scallops), abalone and salmon. The standards for shrimp and trout are still under development.