To learn more about the requirements for Ecologically Important Habitats, watch the presentation narrated by Jill Swasey, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation.
If you want to read more about the specific indicators/requirements regarding this topic [Criterion 2.2: Ecologically Important Habitats] and other information relating to the ‘Alignment’ and draft ASC Farm Standard (including specific questions part of the Stakeholder Survey), please click here.
These issues are also currently addressed within the existing ASC species Standards: all of ASC’s 11-species Standards can be found here.
Why is this an issue?
Depending on how they operate and where they are located, aquaculture farms can potentially disrupt ecosystems and reduce these valuable ecological habitats. This in turn can impact the protective functions they provide and the environments on which species depend. This can be exacerbated if farm perimeters are adjacent to or within Protected Areas (PAs) on which threatened and protected species depend.
This is why the proposed ASC Farm Standard aims to ensure that farm sites maintain coastal and riparian habitats adjacent to or within farm perimeters to preserve essential ecosystem functions and comply with management objectives of protected areas and ecologically important habitats on which threatened and/or protected species depend.
Key considerations regarding the proposed Habitat indicators
Habitats indicators have been expanded to ensure applicability across habitats and ecosystems. The term ‘protected and threatened species’ is being used to capture “endangered, threatened, protected (ETP) and vulnerable species” and will require application of the precautionary principle where species designations may vary. Designations will be according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and “Protected” species are those that have legal protections under CITES or national and other international designations. ASC seeks feedback on definitions for wetlands, protected areas, High Conservation Value Areas, and rehabilitation and restoration of mangroves and other wetlands. ASC seeks to further understand the applicability and practicability of these indicators on all farming systems and locations.
Contact person: Jill Swasey