ASC is first aquaculture body to join GGGI

ASC team Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is working with farmers to identify the most commonly used plastics in aquaculture. Credit: ASC

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has become the first aquaculture body to join the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) with the aim of leading the fight against plastic aquaculture waste and planning requirements for farms to properly dispose of plastics and equipment.

ASC has already begun the process of working with farmers to identify the most commonly used plastics in aquaculture, what they tend to be used for, and the risk of them entering the oceans. New criteria on plastic disposal is also currently being drafted ahead of a public consultation.

Responsible practise

“As with fisheries, plastics have become increasingly important materials for much of the equipment used in aquaculture, such as nets, pens, and buoys,” said Marcelo Hidalgo, standards and certification coordinator for ASC, who is leading the work.

“Many of these materials have allowed big improvements in efficiency and productivity of the sector. But with so much plastic entering our oceans we decided that action was required to assess how aquaculture can reduce the impacts of plastic from the sector.”

GGGI secretariat Joel Baziuk stated: “Aquaculture is a huge part of the industry and it’s wonderful to see ASC wanting to engage proactively on the issue of gear loss.”

With ten standards covering over 700 ASC-certified farms on six continents, when the criteria are approved it will have a global impact on the disposal of plastics and aquaculture gear by the aquaculture industry.

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