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Why ASC?

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.

our impact

By choosing ASC labelled seafood, you are making a proven, positive impact on people and the planet.

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Certification

Join the most recognised certification programme as proof of your responsible farming practices to a global audience.

Our impact

ASC creates measurable positive change in global seafood farming.

Find out more

The ASC programme is successful because of all producers and partners involved. Read our reports and stories.

Certification

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

Our impact

ASC creates measurable, positive change in global seafood farming.

After certification

In addition to accessing our global network of secure and flexible supply, ASC partners benefit from marketing their ASC certified seafood.

The seabass, seabream and meagre standard

Seabass, seabream and meagre farmers face a number of issues in bringing their seafood to market. With ASC certification, farmers evidence their contributions to responsible labour practices, disease management, and ecosystem conservation.

ASC sets the standards for environmentally and socially responsible seabass, seabream and meagre farming.

Certified farms actively minimise their impact on the surrounding natural environment.

Certified farms operate in a socially responsible manner, care for their employees and work with the local community.

ASC certification gives farms clear guidelines to follow. The Seabass, Seabream and Meagre Standard helps protect farms against these issues:

Biodiversity

ASC certified seabass, seabream and/or meagre farms minimise impacts on the local ecosystem in a number of ways, such as the development and implementation of an impact assessment to protect key wild species and sensitive habitats in the proximity of the farm, protection of the ecological quality of the seabed, ensuring farms are not sited in High Conservation Value Areas (HCVA) and minimising fish escapes to an absolute minimum. Lethal action against predators/wildlife on the farm is prohibited, so is the use of submerged acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs).

Feed

ASC certification requires seabass, seabream and/or meagre farms to adhere to strict limits to minimise the use of wild fish as an ingredient for feed. In addition, the standard requires farms to ensure full traceability back to a responsibly managed source, preferably certified, both for wild fish and other ingredients. Potential use of any GM/transgenic plant raw material in the feed must be documented. The Standard also includes a requirement that 80% within five years (starting September 2018) of all non-marine ingredients (e.g. soy & palm oil) must come from sources certified by an ISEAL Alliance member (e.g. Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil [RSPO], the Sustainable Agriculture Alliance [SAN]…).

Pollution

ASC certified seabass, seabream and/or meagre farmers are required to measure at regular intervals various water parameters (phosphorus, dissolved oxygen levels, etc.) and that they remain within set limits. Copper release into the water must be minimised and monitored, and there must be evidence that biological and non-biological waste are either disposed of properly, appropriately stored or recycled.

Diseases

ASC certified seabass, seabream and/or meagre farms are required to adhere to rigorous requirements to minimise disease outbreaks. A Fish Health Management Plan (FHMP) detailing steps for biosecurity management must be developed under supervision of a veterinarian and implemented on the farm. Usage of antibiotics before a disease is diagnosed (prophylactic use) is prohibited, so is the use of any therapeutic treatment listed as critically important for human medicine by the World Health Organization (WHO). Several of the Standard’s indicators concern the survival rate of the fish, and the farm must among others demonstrate that it follows a farm-specific mortality-reduction programme with defined annual targets.

Energy consumption & Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe)

Recognising the importance of energy consumption in food production systems and the associated climate change challenges, the ASC Seabass, Seabream and Meagre Standard includes several indicators pertaining to energy and GHGe. Notably, ASC-certified farmers need, within two/three years of the initial audit, to carry out an energy use assessment and provide records of annual GHG assessment and reporting; including the GHG emissions of the feed used during the previous growing cycle.

Social

ASC certification imposes strict requirements based on the core principles of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), these include prohibiting the use of child labour or any form of forced labour. All ASC certified farms are safe and equitable working environments where employees earn a decent wage and have regulated working hours. In order to address any broader off-site potential social impacts, producers also need to regularly (and meaningfully) consult local communities and to have effective policies for treating/resolving potential complaints. Similar requirements apply for suppliers (hatcheries) of seabass, seabream and/or meagre juveniles that are supplied to the ASC certified seabass, seabream and/or meagre farm.

Standard documents

Date of Publication
September 2018

Seabass, Seabream & Meagre – Standard documents

ASC Sea Bass, Seabream and Meagre Standard v1.1

Confidental Infomation