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AquaChile will follow ASC standards to certify its Atlantic salmon farming centres. (Photo: AquaChile/ASC)

AquaChile, first salmon firm to commit to achieving ASC certification

Click on the flag for more information about Chile CHILE
Thursday, October 04, 2012, 23:40 (GMT + 9)

The company Empresas AquaChile committed itself to achieving certification under the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) global standards, which are the highest environmental and social standards in the world.

"For our company, to make the commitment to work toward this certification will mean to devote significant efforts and resources to it," said Alfonso Marquez de la Plata, general manager of the Chilean company. "However, we are convinced that this is the right way to move towards an aquaculture activity that is more harmonious with the environment and that is easier for the community at large to understand and appreciate."

These standards were created as a result of the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogues, coordinated by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) organization.

These dialogues were joined by numerous industry representatives worldwide, who for about eight years of research have addressed the social and environmental impacts of the sector.

AquaChile stressed that it is "the first salmon firm of the world to publicly announce their commitment to achieve certification under these standards."

The company is now reviewing its processes and assessing the possible adjustments to achieve the certification.

The ASC includes several negative, environmental and social impacts, as defined by the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue:

  • Higher information release on productive activities and their impact on the environment;
  • Decrease and inclusion of certified pelagic fishing in salmon diet;
  • Reduced use of chemicals and antibiotics;
  • Closer ties with the communities where aquaculture activities are carried out.

AquaChile, as the largest salmon producer and exporter of the country and a key supplier to markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America, will follow ASC standards to certify Atlantic salmon farming centres, the main species the company farms.

Last June, Jason Clay, Vice President of Market Transformation for WWF, said that "the participation of stakeholders to develop environmental and social standards and voluntary certification schemes for a range of products is WWF’s main responsibility to transform the markets and, ultimately, to preserve the planet's biodiversity."

The standards are intended as a starting point for continuous improvement and may be updated periodically to keep up the best available scientific knowledge, the best technology and management practices, and the data collected during the certification of farms.

The new ASC standards require a high degree of transparency as to information and control in the farms.

Related article:

- Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue finalises global standards

By Analia Murias
[email protected]
www.fis.com

Photo Courtesy of FIS Member  AquaChile S.A. - Group Headquarters
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