To learn more about the requirements for Non-native Species, watch the presentation narrated by Michiel Fransen, Head of Standards and Science.
If you want to read more about the specific indicators/requirements regarding this topic [Criterion 2.4: Avoiding the culture of new non-native species] and other information relating to the ‘Alignment’ and draft ASC Farm Standard (including specific questions part of the Stakeholder Survey), please click here.
Why is this an issue?
The farming of non-native species is of particular concern if farmed fish escape, enter the natural environment and become established. There can be a range of impacts whose severity depends on many characteristics. For instance, non-native species can predate on native species, (out)compete native species for food or habitat, inter-breed with native species or introduce pathogens that impact native species.
The fact that some non-native species have long been established outside of their natural range presents a challenge in prohibiting non-native culture all together. However, with the global growth of aquaculture there is an increased risk of introducing additional non-natives species into production regions. With this risk, the potential impacts that these species can pose to the natural environment also increases.
This is why the proposed ASC Farm Standard outlines strict measures to be in place to prevent the introduction of non-native species into regions (where not already established), unless the farming process already minimises the risks of escape.
Contact person: Michiel Fransen
Key considerations regarding the proposed revisions on the allowance of transgenic species if cultured in an escape-proof system
The current species-specific ASC Standards prohibit the culture of transgenic species. Within the rationale sections of these Standards, concerns over environmental impacts – if these animals escape – provide the justification to prohibit their culture. Indeed, the consequences of transgenic animals escaping into the wild are unknown and should therefore be approached in a precautionary way.