The ASC and MSC have released a joint standard for environmentally sustainable and socially responsible seaweed production.

Seaweed operations have been associated with a number of environmental impacts, such as effects on water movement and the physical structure of terrestrial and aquatic habitats, as well as changes in water quality, primary and secondary productivity and native fisheries.[1]

With global seaweed production increasing along with demand for certification, the MSC and ASC recognise the importance of having a standard that rewards sustainable seaweed production and provides a benchmark for improvement.

Covid-19 Update

In response to the coronavirus outbreak and consideration of the welfare of all individuals participating in the Seaweed certification system, the ASC and MSC have issued a derogation to allow for scheduling and conducting of remote site visits and audits for Seaweed assessments. Click on the link below to read the full document.


ASC-MSC seaweed standard

The Seaweed Standard sets a number of requirements for seaweed harvesting and farming practices.

  • Environmentally, seaweed operations must show that they actively minimise their impact on the surrounding natural environment.
  • Socially, seaweed operations must be managed in a responsible manner. Producers must care for their employees, work with the local community and be good and conscientious neighbours.

The standard applies globally to all locations and scales of seaweed operations, including both harvesting of wild populations and farmed seaweed production.

Referencing scientific understanding and industry best practices, it conforms to international norms of good conduct, including the United Nations FAO Guidelines for Ecolabelling and ISEAL Codes of Good Practice.

Five principles

The Seaweed Standard consists of a set of five principles, each with defined performance indicators:

  • Sustainable wild populations
  • Environmental impacts
  • Effective management
  • Social responsibility
  • Community relations and interactions

Read the ASC MSC Seaweed Standard in the brochure to find out more about the standard.

Assessment process

The MSC and ASC have developed a standard setting procedure specifically for the joint Seaweed Standard.

A third party certification model is applied for seaweed operations wishing to be assessed to the standard. This means the ASC and MSC do not assess the seaweed operations, nor issue certificates. Instead, independent third party conformity assessment bodies (CABs) audit farms and wild harvest operations.

To ensure our complete independence from the certification process, a third party organisation – Assurance Services International (ASI) – manages the accreditation of CABs to conduct assessments.

To learn more about the audit process read the Get Certified! guide

Chain of Custody

The Seaweed Standard uses the existing MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard. The CoC Standard requires every distributor, processor, and retailer trading in certified seaweed to have traceability systems in place that ensures ASC-MSC certified seaweed is separated from non-certified, and can be fully traced along the supply chain.

To learn more about how to apply for assessment and become certified, read more about the Chain of Custody Standard

Label and claims

Seaweed operations that meet the standard gain the right to sell their products bearing the ASC-MSC label. This gives them a public endorsement of their responsible practices, and gives consumers the reassurance that they’re making an ethical purchase. Only organisations that have signed a formal written licensing agreement with our licensing team may display the label on their products.

Read the ASC-MSC Seaweed Label User Guide.

Read the ASC-MSC Seaweed fee structure guidelines

Read the ASC-MSC Seaweed fee structure guidelines (Korean)

The ASC-MSC label should always be accompanied by the claim. It should be shown in the language(s) of the country where the seaweed product is sold. 


Find production units certified

Please click below to find seaweed production units that have been certified in accordance with the ASC-MSC Seaweed (algae) Standard.

Certified seaweed units


Find production units in assessments

Please click below to find seaweed production units that are currently under assessment.

Seaweed Units in Assessment


Find certified seaweed suppliers

View the list of seaweed suppliers that have been certified against the Chain of Custody standard.


Find Seaweed Interpretation Variation Log

The Interpretations Variation log is a technical tool for CABs and assessors. Interpretations are additional guidance for CABs, assessors and Assurance Services International (ASI) to ensure consistent assessments.

Seaweed Interpretation Variation Log


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