Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS)

Certification of aquatic products from open and semi-closed systems such as sea-cages, ponds or flow-through systems was the initial focus of the ASC standards. In recent years, however, the number of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) has significantly increased. Therefore ASC has developed a RAS module to adapt the ASC standards to ensure that the main impacts from RAS operations are assessed.

Contact person:  Kathrin Steinberg, PhD, Head of Research, Standards and Science.

This module development is now complete. In addition to changes made following public consultation included, additional consultation with stakeholders engaged previously was undertaken to refine the definition of RAS to determine applicability of this module. Details can be reviewed here.


RAS Module – Public Consultation

A RAS Module is being considered and — following a 30-day public consultation (August 3 – September 4, 2020 / Currently Closed) — the intent is that this would be considered  as an interim solution to become operational as soon as possible (January 2021) and until the aligned ASC Farm Standard, which will include RAS specific indicators, becomes effective.

The RAS module summarises the key environmental and social impacts associated with RAS and addresses these impacts using existing indicators from the ASC’s species-specific standards. This ensures auditability. To become certified, RAS farms will need to comply to the relevant species-specific standards and the additional list of indicators covered in the RAS module. These indicators cover:

  • Water resource use,
  • Water discharge,
  • Waste disposal,
  • Energy use.

The collection of this data will also be used in the Alignment Project and to help better inform decisions.

The ASC sought feedback on the proposed RAS Module, with a focus on its auditability and applicability. Suggestions for any additional considerations which should be included in RAS assessments were also welcomed.

An additional targeted consultation on the scope of the RAS Module was held in November 2021. The summary can be found here.

Further information

  • Watch the webinar, narrated by Kathrin Steinberg (Head of Research, Standards and Science) who leads the RAS Module project:

Timeline: RAS Module development

[Page last updated 22.04.2022]


Other documents linked to Public Consultation

Consultation period:

August 3 - September 4, 2020
Status: Closed

RAS Module - Public Consultation

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