The ASC standards set principles, criteria, indicators and measurable performance levels for responsible aquaculture with regard to social and environmental issues.

But until now there has not been guidance for producers on how to improve their farming methods so they can meet the requirements in the standards. To help bridge the gap, we have developed the ASC Improver Programme to make our programme more accessible and to ensure that our standards are better understood by producers. Our goal is to leverage market forces by attracting producers to drive improvements in those areas where the biggest change can be achieved.

Objectives of the Improver Programme

The objectives of ASC’s Improver Programme are as follows:

  1. To develop technical tools and supportive networks to help producers make improvements to their aquaculture production at scale. This will allow producers to mitigate environmental and social impacts associated with aquaculture production, and to meet the requirements of the ASC standard and enjoy the benefits that this brings.
  2. To engage and enable local governments and initiatives to contribute to and participate in the development of supporting networks to deliver efficient approaches for improvement.
  3. To support a pre-competitive approach to improvement work in the aquaculture sector, and act as an instrument for meaningful change and, in collaboration with others, to accelerate further transformation towards responsible aquaculture.

How will it work?

The Improver Programme will act as an instrument for change by engaging both with producers that want to obtain certification and those that simply want help to improve farming practices without certification as an immediate goal. The flexibility of the programme could also allow collaboration with  groups of producers to implement improvements on a larger scale.

Farmers who participate in the programme in a credible manner are supported by the ASC and can access tools to help them succeed through ASC’s online academy. 

This is a market-driven approach: the marketplace will reward producers for implementing better practices by recognising their efforts to accelerate market transformation while driving improvements throughout the supply chain. Better farming practices can also drive efficiencies and lower costs.

The benefits

Producers will benefit from the Improver Programme through access to tools and networks, verification of their progress, and association with the ASC programme, as well as the potential for recognition on the ASC website and promotional portfolio.

The wider benefits of the programme are to encourage a pre-competitive approach to improvement, contributing towards the ASC’s mission to drive up standards in aquaculture.

If you would like to get involved, email: roy.vandaatselaar@asc-aqua.org

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