ASC Statement on Fraud Allegations Regarding Nova Austral
June 29, 2019
Claims of intentional fraud at Nova Austral’s Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified farms are currently under investigation.
Control Union Peru, the independent conformity assessment body that certified the Nova Austral sites, contacted ASC on 27 June to notify us that an investigation had commenced on that date in response to the news reports alleging that the company had falsified records of fish mortalities and antibiotic use. We applaud Control Union Peru for informing us immediately of the allegations and quickly initiating a clearly defined action plan for this serious investigation.
ASC is actively engaged in the ongoing investigation by Control Union Peru and is open to cooperation with Sernapesca if and when needed. As a third-party certifier, ASC does not certify farms. Independent CABs, in this case Control Union Peru, determine whether a farm meets the requirements and any concerns about compliance are also investigated by CABs in their capacity as certifiers.
ASC does not tolerate fraud. Furthermore, the ASC Salmon Standard sets clear thresholds for mortalities and requires farm specific mortality reduction targets. Farms are also required to report this data and other metrics for various indicators included in the salmon standard to the ASC on a yearly basis. ASC will take all appropriate action, including suspension or termination of Logo License Agreement if the allegations are substantiated. When such claims have been proven in the past ASC has taken the most stringent measures available to us as an independent, third-party standard. In keeping with our dedication to transparency, those incidents can be viewed on our website. Similarly, ASC’s complaint procedure outlining multiple routes for handling complaints can also be found on our website.