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ASC Announces Interim Feed Solution

December 13, 2016

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has launched an Interim Solution for the marine raw material used in feed. This Interim Solution replaces the current set of requirements for marine raw material in the ASC Farm Standards.

The Interim Solution increases the amount of marine raw material available for use in feed at farms certified to the ASC Farm Standards for salmon, tilapia, pangasius, trout, shrimp, abalone, seriola and cobia from 21 September 2016.

The requirements bridge the gap between the current marine raw material requirements in the ASC Farm Standards and the release of the separate ASC Feed Standard. The policy requires farms in the programme to use marine raw materials categorised as A-B2 by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership’s (SFP) Fish Source Score.

“The Interim Solution continues to promote responsible sourcing of marine raw materials for feed, but it also takes into account the shortfall between the rising demand for sustainable raw marine ingredients with the current shortfall in the supply,” said Michel Fransen, Standards and Certification Coordinator, ASC.

In addition to this interim solution, the ASC is developing a separate ASC Feed Standard. Once ready and launched, the ASC Feed Standard will replace the policy announced today.

The new standard will also supersede the current ASC requirement that all whole fish, fish meal and oil used in the feed must be fully ISEAL certified within 5 years after the release of each standard. Due to the pace of fishery certification there is not enough approved materials to allow farms to meet these requirements. Therefore the time horizon to meet this requirement has already passed for some standards, and is approaching rapidly for others, such as the ASC Salmon Standard.

However, the interim solution announced today and the new standard under review both establish protocols that balance the need for more sustainable feed with the ability to secure marine raw materials that meet the requirements. With these updates, the ASC hopes to incentivize more feed fisheries to improve their sustainability by achieving ISEAL certification of the whole fish fish meal and fish oil used for feed. Without these improvements fisheries cannot supply these feed components to ASC certified farms in the future.

The full and final ASC Feed Standard is anticipated in Q4 2017 and will address overall ingredient origin requirements, as well as feed mill performance. An initial draft of the full Feed Standard has been shared publically and a second draft will be available for public comments in Q1 2017.

More information on the interim solution for the feed marine raw material requirements can be found here.

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