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Two tilapia farms from Indonesia have become the first ASC certified aquaculture centres. (Photo: Regal Springs Tilapia/FIS)

ASC certificates given to first tilapia farms

WORLDWIDE
Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 04:10 (GMT + 9)

Two tilapia farms belonging to PT Aquafarm Nusantara (Regal Springs Group), Toba Farm (Sumatra) and Kedung Ombo (Java), were granted the first certificates handed by Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). These farms are the first globally to complete the ASC certification.

Several other farms have also entered the certification process and are expected to achieve ASC certification in the coming months.

“The ASC values transparency in all its processes. In the ASC certification process several moments are set for external stakeholder input to get a well-balanced view on a farm’s performance,” the Council said.

Its auditing capacity has been expanding steadily and now tilapia and pangasius farms across the globe can contract certifiers to have their farms audited to achieve ASC certification. Thanks to these changes, the first certified pangasius farms will be a reality shortly.

Tilapia products carrying the ASC logo will be available for sale in retail outlets in several countries, first of which will be the Netherlands and Germany from 15 August onwards, followed by Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, France, Belgium, Spain and Canada.

Tilapia processing. (Photo: www.regalsprings.com)


For species like bivalves, abalone and salmon, the public can expect to see the first ASC-certified farms in early 2013, while standard development processes for trout and shrimp are expected to be finalised soon. More tilapia farms in Honduras, Taiwan, Ecuador and Malaysia have all formally announced that they will be audited.

“Positive changes are happening on the water that will ripple throughout the entire aquaculture industry,” said World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Vice President of Aquaculture and Chairman of the ASC Board José Villalón. “The launch of ASC-certified tilapia is just a taste of what’s to come for the aquaculture industry as more companies pursue responsible production of farmed seafood.”

If managed correctly, the aquaculture industry can help keep the fishing industry from depleting wild fish stocks and thereby be part of the solution to feeding nine billion people by 2050, WWF said. The Fund believes that it is possible to successfully collaborate with the aquaculture industry to raise seafood with minimal impact on people and natural ecosystems, while satisfying a growing demand for seafood and simultaneously taking pressure of wild fisheries.

WWF has now transitioned its focus to helping seafood farmers improve their farming practices through Aquaculture Improvement Projects, which focus on helping farmers understand the ASC standards, make the changes in their production protocols to become compliant and independently pursue ASC certification for a range of species including pangasius, shrimp, salmon and tilapia.

Related article:

-
ASC launches accreditation process for tilapia

By Natalia Real
[email protected]
www.fis.com


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