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Hotspot Analysis Non-addressable space

Department: ASC Improver Programme

Contract: Short-term, approx. 4 months part time

Location: Remote, flexible


ASC is an independent, not-for-profit organisation established in 2010 to set and operate global standards for responsible aquaculture. Certified farmed products are promoted to consumers through the use of the ASC label.

The aquaculture industry is growing strongly and is already supplying more than half of all seafood consumed worldwide, but this growing demand increases the environmental and social footprint associated with this expansion. The ASC certification and labelling programme incentivises improved farming practices by promoting the benefits of responsibly farmed seafood and encourages an industry towards achieving environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

We work across the globe with aquaculture producers, seafood processors, retail and foodservice companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public to make it very easy to recognize and buy farmed seafood that meets the highest environmental standards.

Project Overview

Following an internal review on the future uptake of certification, it is believed that the ASC certification and labelling programme has the potential to engage up to 20% of global production (“addressable space”). The remaining 80% is only to a certain extent addressed by market pull from receptive markets for ecolabelling. Therefore, upwards of this 80% of aquaculture production will likely not move towards certification (“non-addressable space”). Other pathways are needed within the next 5-7 years (strategy scope) to drive forward meaningful improvements to mitigate environmental and social impacts.

The ASC Improver Programme is currently acting as a pathway to bring producers into certification (addressable space), but ASC has the ambition to also facilitate scalable improvement efforts in this non-addressable space. Given the scale of this non-addressable space, it is difficult to untangle which regions, species and/or areas of improvement are prime targets.

ASC wants to understand critical hotspots in terms of a) production regions and areas, b) species, and c) environmental and social impacts. This is a key starting point to develop strategies for how and where to engage in this non-addressable space. We have identified several potential hotspots, but we are seeking further articulation, justification, and prioritization. These hotspots may include but are not limited to:

  • Shrimp, Southeast Asia
  • Asian marine aquaculture species (incl. tropical marine finfish species such as grouper and large yellow croaker)
  • Tilapia and catfish in Sub-Saharan Africa (with a link to food security)
  • Bivalves (volume and spread globally, impact climate change)

Furthermore, ASC wants to gain a more systematic insight on what the core incentives are for producers of the priority hotspots to improve practices and through that, reduce impacts. These incentives will guide the mechanisms – or pathways – on how to reduce impacts in the non-addressable space.

Scope of Work

Based on the above, ASC seeks to engage a consultant to complete a desk-based exercise and conduct an analysis to:

  • Identify the top 10 key “hotspots” – 70%
  • Map incentives for producers in prioritized hotspots – 25%
  • Provide first insights on pathways for engagement – 5%

The hotspot analysis should be based on a data-driven and systematic review of species (volume, growth expectations), production regions and environmental and social impacts.

This review should be building upon insights and data derived from aquaculture performance and ratings in sustainability scheme assessments, e.g. including but not limited to: the Blue Food Partnership, FAO recommendations to increase aquaculture production,

This review should use baseline data from a.o. but not limited to Certification & Ratings Collaboration members (Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership FishSource assessments, FairTrade), FAO State of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and internal ASC data on farm performance and improvements and internal reports to inform the ASC.

These sources will collectively provide information at various scales on:

  • Species: current production volumes and growth expectations (quantitative)
  • Production regions/countries
  • Key environmental and social impact areas (both quantitative and qualitative)

Furthermore, the review should provide the ASC with a map of incentives for improvement (e.g. if not market pull, what incentives do producers have to change practices; cost reduction, risk reduction, yield improvement, finance).

Finally this review should provide a perspective on engagement pathways for the ASC Improver Programme to leverage and address the impact areas including partnerships around jurisdictional approaches, collaborations with governments and via access to finance and/or blended finance mechanisms. – first indication of pathways based on the above.

The consultant is expected to include a proposed methodology for the analysis in the proposal to ASC.


The consultant is expected to deliver ASC a draft report for review as well as a final report. All products will be used internally for decision making. A presentation summarizing the approach including key findings and interpretations shall be provided to ASC. The consultant shall provide copies of, or links to, all data sets being used for the analysis.

Budget indication: EUR 25.000, –

Anticipated Timeline

Application deadline                         March 8

Shortlisting                                         March 11 – 15

Decision & notification                       By March 20

Start of consultancy                           March 21

Kick-off meeting                                March 21/22

Desktop research and interviews     March 25 – May 10

Draft report submitted to ASC          May 17 (ASC will provide feedback by May 31)

Final report submitted to ASC          June 14

Closing meeting                                By June 21

Qualification consultant

The consultant is expected to demonstrate the following:

  • Have a thorough understanding of the global aquaculture industry
  • Have experience with quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Have experience in working with and understanding the perspective of aquaculture producers
  • Have excellent written and verbal communication skills – including the ability to communicate with technical and non-technical peers
  • Have excellent stakeholder engagement skills and experience working with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds

Application and Selection

Interested parties are invited to submit their proposals by email with the subject header ‘Application Hotspot Analysis’ to

Responding to this Request for Proposals should include the following:

  • Overview of relevant experience
  • Proposed methodology and timeline
  • Proposed project delivery team
  • Detailed and transparent budget in EUR, including time allocation and day rates
  • Declaration of any conflict of interest

Deadline for proposal submission is Friday 8th March 2024 COB.

The indicative budget of this work is estimated at circa EUR 25.000,-. Questions, requests and applications sent after the proposal deadline will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

In addition to skills, competences and expertise, we will consider value for money and demonstrable commitment to the sustainability of the global aquaculture industry to evaluate applications.

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