Tokyo seminar gathers stakeholder interest
A seminar on ASC’s latest developments and the role and responsibilities of companies in driving change in aquaculture was held on 16th November at Surugadai Memorial Hall of Chuo University, Tokyo.
The workshop, organised and co-hosted by the ASC and WWF Japan, drew an enthusiastic audience from the seafood industry, certification sector and academia. A diverse crowd of more than 65 producers, retailers, fisheries, feed companies, certifiers and scientists discussed topics spanning the Japan Seriola Initiative (JSI), Aquaculture Improvement Programmes (AIPs), and how Japanese companies can play a role in the expansions of certification schemes such as ASC.
The seminar was lead by Satoshi Maekawa, Ocean and Seafood Group Officer at WWF Japan. Presentations were provided by Koji Yamamoto, ASC General Manager Japan, Astushi Ido of Ehime University, Jose Villalon, Corporate Sustainability Director at Nutreco, and Yukihiro Misawa, the Seafood Markets Manager of WWF Japan. The closing panel discussion was facilitated by Aiko Yamauchi, leader of the Oceans and Seafood Group, WWF Japan.
“This seminar was an ideal opportunity for convening such a diverse group of stakeholders, sharing and exchanging knowledge, and exploring how they can leverage their influence towards a common goal. I am pleased to be able to assist in widening the knowledge of responsible farming and providing the tools for producers and companies to drive change in aquaculture,” said Koji Yamamoto, ASC General Manager Japan.
Bringing value with stakeholder collaboration
The first presentation, delivered by Koji Yamamoto , provided an overview on the status of ASC’s programme and presented the upcoming new standards including Seaweed, Seabream, Flatfish and Feed, all highly relevant to the Japanese market. He also addressed a number of opportunities for collaborative actions amongst stakeholders to help drive the aquaculture industry in Japan to become a more responsible sector.
Astushi Ido, Ehime University, who is the coordinator of the Japan Seriola Initiative (JSI) highlighted the background and scope of the initiative, which aims to provide a platform for collaborations amongst Japanese seriola producers. To date, five companies have committed their support to JSI.
Jose Villaron of Nutreco addressed a wide variety of aquaculture related challenges, such as environmental impacts, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and social responsibility, and laid out Nutreco’s commitment to provide substantial investments on research and development for improving sustainability.
The forth and final presentation provided Yukihiro Misawa, Seafood Markets Manager of WWF Japan, an opportunity to present examples of pathways for Japanese companies to initiate development of new ASC supply chains. He also shared a number of success stories coming out of the recent Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP), including the first ASC certified black tiger shrimp from Indonesia, which was facilitated through the collaboration between the producers, WWF Indonesia, WWF Japan, and the supplier Nichirei Fresh Inc.
The session closed with an active panel discussions, facilitated by Aiko Yamauchi of WWF Japan, with large number of questions being asked including those submitted by the participants during the coffee break. The topics included the importance of precompetitive collaborations, and the active role of companies in the upstream supply chain to extend their CSR activities, especially when considering that the Japanese aquaculture sector has large number of small scale producers.