Seaweed operations have been associated with a number of environmental impacts, such as effects on water movement and the physical structure of terrestrial and aquatic habitats, as well as changes in water quality, primary and secondary productivity and native fisheries. With global seaweed production increasing along with demand for certification, the MSC and ASC recognise the importance of having a standard that rewards sustainable seaweed production and provides a benchmark for improvement.
ASC-MSC seaweed standard
The Seaweed Standard sets a number of requirements for seaweed harvesting and farming practices.
- Environmentally, seaweed operations must show that they actively minimise their impact on the surrounding natural environment.
- Socially, seaweed operations must be managed in a responsible manner. Producers must care for their employees, work with the local community and be good and conscientious neighbours.
The standard applies globally to all locations and scales of seaweed operations, including both harvesting of wild populations and farmed seaweed production.
Referencing scientific understanding and industry best practices, it conforms to international norms of good conduct, including the United Nations FAO Guidelines for Ecolabelling and ISEAL Codes of Good Practice.
The Seaweed Standard consists of a set of five principles, each with defined performance indicators:
- Sustainable wild populations
- Environmental impacts
- Effective management
- Social responsibility
- Community relations and interactions
Read the ASC MSC Seaweed Standard in the brochure to find out more about the standard.
The MSC and ASC have developed a standard setting procedure specifically for the joint Seaweed Standard.
A third party certification model is applied for seaweed operations wishing to be assessed to the standard. This means the ASC and MSC do not assess the seaweed operations, nor issue certificates. Instead, independent third party conformity assessment bodies (CABs) audit farms and wild harvest operations.
To ensure our complete independence from the certification process, a third party organisation – Assurance Services International (ASI) – manages the accreditation of CABs to conduct assessments.
To learn more about the audit process read the Get Certified! guide.
Chain of Custody
The Seaweed Standard uses the existing MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard. The CoC Standard requires every distributor, processor, and retailer trading in certified seaweed to have traceability systems in place that ensures ASC-MSC certified seaweed is separated from non-certified, and can be fully traced along the supply chain.
To learn more about how to apply for assessment and become certified, read more about the Chain of Custody Standard.
Label and Claims
Seaweed operations that meet the standard gain the right to sell their products bearing the ASC-MSC label. This gives them a public endorsement of their responsible practices, and gives consumers the reassurance that they’re making an ethical purchase. Only organisations that have signed a formal written licensing agreement with our licensing team may display the label on their products.
The ASC-MSC label should always be accompanied by the claim. It should be shown in the language(s) of the country where the seaweed product is sold.
ASC-MSC Seaweed CAR v1.01
ASC-MSC Seaweed (Algae) Risk Based Framework
Get Certified! guide
Master List of Controlled ASC-MSC Certification Program Documents
ASC-MSC Seaweed (Algae) Client Application Checklist
ASC-MSC Seaweed Standard (Japanese)
ASC-MSC Seaweed Standard (Korean)
ASC-MSC Seaweed Standard (Bahasa)