The Aquaculture Stewardship Council released some impressive achievements for 2017 in their December newsletter. ASC is a leader in supporting responsible aquaculture and provides certifications that are equally recognized by other certification schemes.
As 2017 wrapped up, ASC reported 548 certified farms (another 159 in assessment), the addition of 250,000 metric tons of certified product over the past year, and a total of 10,000 certified products in 66 countries. Also during 2017, salmon and tilapia from ASC-certified farms received a “buy” rating on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, providing bolstered proof of the product’s sustainability, and ASC launched a joint Seaweed Standard with the Marine Stewardship Council specifically for certification of seaweed operations. In November, ASC welcomed its first blue mussel farms to the program.
This expansion of a program dedicated to responsible and sustainable aquaculture shows a shifting of the industry. Certification systems are gaining more traction thanks to consumer demand, and aquaculture producers are listening. ASC also made progress in China, a country with a reputation for poor aquaculture practices, during the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo this past November with events focused on the demand for responsible seafood.
With the vast amount of sustainably produced products coming from just this one certification (not to mention the great work by others), the future of the aquaculture industry looks bright. And, as a consumer, continue demanding sustainable seafood.