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We set the standard for seafood. If you see the ASC label on pack, you can be sure that your seafood was farmed with care.

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ASC creates measurable positive change in global seafood farming.

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Join the most recognised certification programme and benefit from trading ASC certified seafood.

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ASC creates measurable, positive change in global seafood farming.

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ASC Farm Standard – Principle 1

ASC Farm Standard – Principle 1 – in development –

The forthcoming ASC Farm Standard will be split into three principles. Principle 1 covers legal compliance, Principle 2 covers environmental impacts and Principle 3 covers social impacts.

Contact person: Michiel Fransen

The aquaculture sector is rapidly growing, and this can and is causing regulatory challenges in some regions. As a result, there can be increased risk of the industry becoming unregulated and/or that the enforcement of aquaculture legislation and regulations falls short of stakeholder expectations.

Consequently, negative impacts on the environment and societies can, and do, occur. Although regulatory compliance comes with investment costs, industries do benefit from well designed legislation and proper regulation as this creates a level playing field between business actors in the long run.

Through Principle 1, delivery of ASC’s Mission directly contributes to addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); notably SDG 8 (“Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”) and SDG 9 (“Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation”).

Embedded within ASC’s Mission of promoting responsible aquaculture, this Principle requires that certified facilities operate a legal, ethical and well managed business that assures compliance with the ASC requirements throughout the validity of a certificate.

Principle 1 covers the following criteria/topics, each with its own set of indicators/requirements:

Criterion 1.1 – Legal Compliance

A legal business operation includes compliance with licencing and permitting requirements, and applicable laws. All ASC certified farms are expected to comply with local and national laws and regulations and be in possession of all required legal licenses and permits.

Criterion 1.2 – Management System

Implementing a management system enables a farm to plan, implement and monitor its compliance with the ASC Farm Standard. The management system includes policies, procedures, and processes.

Criterion 1.3 – Business Ethics

Corruption, bribery, misrepresentation, and falsification erode trust, weaken democracy and further exacerbate inequality, poverty, social division and the environmental crisis. Unethical business conduct also impacts employees, reduces morale and creates a lack of trust and accountability in the workplace. The ASC Farm Standard requires farms to ensure an ethical operating and business environment and includes requirements on the prevention of corruption and bribery. 

Criterion 1.4 – Traceability and Transparent Disclosure

Suppliers, buyers, consumers, governments and NGOs require information about the origin of products, production processes used, and the supply chains involved. Traceability allows the transfer of information regarding sustainability claims through to the end consumer. In order to assure that ASC certified products are correctly disclosed and differentiated from non-ASC certified products, it is important that traceability systems and Chain of Custody (CoC) are in place. The ASC Farm Standard ensures the conformity, correct disclosure and traceability of products sold as ASC certified.

Annex 2 – Data recording and submission

Transparency is key to ASC’s credibility. Data is also essential for impact monitoring, standard development, facilitate risk-based auditing and research. ASC aims to improve the quality, extent, and standardisation of reporting. Data will be submitted by the Farm site or the UoC through the webportalChainpoint.​

Annex 3 – Risk Management Framework (RMF)

ASC is working to develop a Risk Management Framework (RMF) that will provide farms with clear and consistent elements needed to support the implementation of a risk-based approach to the requirements. The framework covers: Environmental impacts, Community impacts, Worker’s health and safety, and Child and forced labour.

What’s next?

Because the Legal and Social dimensions are closely intertwined, the proposed criteria and indicators for P1 and P3 were published together for public consultation in 2019, and are currently open for public consultation until April 30th 2022, after which the feedback received will be used to finalise them. P1 and P3 are scheduled for release in 2022.

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[Page last updated on 19.05.2022]

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