Wednesday, October 26, 2016

27/10/2016: The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) announces 100th farm achieves Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification

20 percent of all GSI member farms now ASC certified, as group makes progress towards ambitious sustainability goals

The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) today announced that its members have achieved Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for 100 farms, the equivalent of 20 percent of all GSI member farms.

This is an important milestone as GSI ultimately strives to achieve 100 percent certification across all member farms, and demonstrates GSI members’ commitment to reaching the ASC standard’s challenging environmental and social indicators across all of their farming operations.

“The ASC standard is the world’s leading certification and labelling program for responsibly farmed seafood. Its challenging criteria are designed to promote the highest level of responsible aquaculture,” said Chris Ninnes, CEO of ASC.

“The GSI members are leading the way with certifications, and today’s announcement sends a significant signal that they are committed on their journey towards improved sustainability.”

The first GSI farm was awarded ASC certification in 2014, and since then huge progress has been made, with 10 farms certified in 2014, 45 farms in 2015, and now a further 45 farms certified so far in 2016.

GSI members now have ASC certified farms across 6 farming regions, including 48 farms in Norway, 33 in Chile, 12 in Canada, 3 in Ireland, 2 in Scotland and 2 in the Faroe Islands, with a further 29 currently under assessment.

Aquaculture of Salmon: Tristan Schmurr
“With more and more farms becoming ASC certified, we now have a growing supply of responsibly sourced salmon on the market. We trust that this will trigger more retailers to offer ASC labelled salmon products, enabling consumers to make a sustainable seafood choice,” said Piers Hart, Global Lead for Aquaculture at WWF.

“Considering the increasing demand for seafood and dwindling marine fish stocks, ASC certification is a key component of ensuring a sustainable food system for the future. The GSI is demonstrating that significant change can happen at scale when an industry works together towards a common sustainability goal."

In order to achieve ASC certification, farms must meet the standard’s 152 criteria, which support responsible aquaculture practices that minimise environmental and social impact. Through achieving the ASC standard, certified farms deliver a cleaner seabed, cleaner water and healthier fish, while also ensuring social responsibility.

“When we signed up to GSI and made our commitment to ASC certification, we knew it was going to be a very tough challenge, and we weren’t exactly sure how we were going to get there. However, through collective knowledge and shared problem solving, we are starting to see progress with more and more farms achieving certification,” said Alf-Helge Aarskog, CEO Marine Harvest ASA.

“We have made good progress so far, but bigger challenges lie ahead of us as we look at regions where it will be tougher to achieve certification. But within GSI we support each other by sharing experience and advice, and now that we have the ball rolling we feel confident that the certifications will continue.”

In line with the ASC standard, the GSI publishes an annual Sustainability Report online, which allows the public to transparently review all member company data across key sustainability and environmental indicators.

The Report also tracks GSI’s progress towards ASC certification, showing the latest number of ASC certified farms, as well as farms currently under ASC assessment.

Read more HERE.

To read the sustainability report click HERE.

The Aquaculturists
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