What is the Aquaculture Stewardship Council standard?
The standard for responsible farming is managed by ASC, whose mission is to achieve environmentally sustainable and socially responsible practices in the aquaculture sector using efficient market mechanisms that create value across the chain.
To be certified to the ASC standard farmers must comply with a set of requirements covering:
- Operation of aquaculture production systems.
The focus of the standard is on production and the immediate inputs to production. The requirements of the standard build on best practices. The standard aims to be a starting point for continuous improvement, and therefore will be periodically updated to reflect the best available scientific knowledge, management practices and technologies.
Meeting the full suite of requirements will require farms to:
- Have a high level of transparency and regular monitoring of key indicators.
- Make some performance data publicly available.
- Make other performance data available to the ASC.
Fish products from a certified fish farm are eligible to carry the ASC eco-label, communicating to the consumer that the product is responsibly produced. Integrity of products originating in an ASC certified farm is verified through Chain of custody (CoC) certification. For ASC, chain of custody is certified through application of the MSC chain of custody system, where ASC-specific requirements apply when ASC products are included in the scope of certification. Products that originate in ASC certified farms and are sold through an MSC certified chain of custody (with ASC CoC scope) are eligible to carry the ASC logo.
Why certify to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council standard?
Certification to the ASC standard will give producers several benefits: Access to markets with requirement for ASC certified seafood. Clear and credible communication on responsible farming to customers and stakeholders. Eligibility for products to carry the ASC ecolabel. Structured stakeholder involvement. Independent verification of environmental and social best practice.
How can I prepare for certification?
Follow these steps to prepare for certification:
- Contact us to get more information on the certification scheme.
- Become familiar with the ASC standard. The standard is available as free download from the ASC website.
- Use the ASC Pre-audit checklist as a tool to make sure you meet data collection requirements prior to the first audit. Some indicators require data to be collected at least 6 months prior to the first audit.
Certification requires periodical audits and proof of continued compliance. The certificate is valid for three years, and your third party certification body will perform surveillance activities on a yearly basis. How can we help? Our experts are among the most experienced auditors in the industry, and we can provide certification to the ASC standard for your farm site. We have been a contributor in the development of the ASC Standard, and have successfully piloted the service together with customers.
DNV GL -Business Assurance is also an accredited third party certification body for the MSC Chain of Custody standard, and can support players in the aquaculture value chain with certification to this standard. Contact us to get started.