ASC gets salmon standard
The Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue has handed over the global salmon standard for responsible farming to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
The standard has taken over six years to conclude.
The ASC will soon start with pilot farm audits and global interest has been expressed for these in Chile, Norway, British Columbia, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand.
Chris Ninnes, CEO of ASC, said, "These pilots allow the certification program for salmon to be tested in a practical way and that this will ensure the smooth running of the program into the future on launch. It also gives salmon farms an opportunity to understand how their current practices match up against the standard".
The first ASC certified products for ‘responsibly farmed’ salmon are expected in the market in early 2013.
The ASC standard aim to address the key negative environmental and social impacts of salmon farming associated with: sourcing of feed ingredients; disease transmission between farms and into wild salmon populations; controlling escapes into the wild; use of therapeutics and anti-biotics; site impacts; the presence of GMO products in feed; and labour issues on farms.
On completion of the pilot audits the results will be incorporated into the final version of the Audit Manual that will guide certifiers and farmers in how the standard should be applied. Before certifiers can formally undertake audits their staff will be trained in the application of the standard and their companies must successfully conclude the third party accreditation process administered through Accreditation Services International (ASI).
According to Bas Geerts, ASC standards director, the first certificates for farms capable of demonstrating their compliance with the standard are likely to be awarded towards the end of this year.