ASC Farm Standard – Principle 2

 – in development – 

The forthcoming ASC Farm Standard will be split into three principles. Principle 1 covers legal compliance, Principle 2 covers environmental impacts and Principle 3 covers social impacts.

Contact person: Michiel Fransen

Aquaculture is a varied industry in terms of species cultured, production systems used and the ecosystems in which farms are sited. As a result, a wide range of impacts are identified, some relevant to practices of all farms, others to more specific situations or to certain species.

The ASC’s forthcoming Farm Standard defines these key impact areas for all main culture systems and considers specific requirements where needed. The industry, science and expectations evolve meaning some impact areas need updating as well as alignment between existing requirements in ASC’s 11 species standards.

Alignment: ASC Farm Standard - Principle 2


The intended outcome of Principle 2 is that ASC certified facilities operate in an environmentally responsible manner, by ensuring that:

  1. The farm’s siting and operation does not impact wider ecosystem functioning
  2. Resource use is optimised
  3. Any discharged outputs do not exceed ecosystem absorption rates
  4. The aquatic species cultured do not harm native species and/or ecosystems

Collectively, the ‘environmental’ impacts of farm activities will be covered by the following 17 Criteria:

  • Compliance with Applicable Environmental Regulations
  • Ecologically Important Habitats
  • Wildlife interactions
  • Non-native species
  • Escapes
  • Benthic ecosystem structure and function
  • Water Quality
  • Salinisation of soil and groundwater
  • Biosolids
  • Freshwater Use
  • Energy Use
  • Waste and Pollution
  • Feed
  • Animal Welfare
  • Parasites and Pathogens
  • Antibiotics and Veterinary Drugs
  • Hatchery, Fingerlings, Broodstock and Seed

Aligned and revised Criteria covering some of the main environmental impacts of aquaculture have gone for consultation in March/April 2021. ASC’s Technical Advisory Group have endorsed these proposals for public consultation supported by expert technical working groups for topics where significant development was needed.

What’s next?

Feedback from consultations is being used to adapt the new proposals. Currently Fish Welfare is open for public consultation until the end of October 2021. The next round of public consultation for the remaining P2 criteria/indicators will take place in March/April 2022. After this feedback has been collated and reflected upon, a final round of public consultation on the complete proposed P2 will take place September/October next year (2022). The target is to release the P2 requirements in 2023 and implement in 2024.

More information 


[Page last updated on 14.09.2021]

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