WWF today congratulated Tasmanian salmon producer Tassal and its staff for becoming the first Australian producer of farmed seafood to achieve gold standard Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification.
ASC is the highest standard for responsibly farmed seafood in the world and provides consumers with an assurance that they are purchasing seafood from farms that limit their impacts on the environment and communities.
WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said the announcement was a great example of an Australian company demonstrating global leadership on sustainability.
“Customers are demanding more sustainable products. Sustainability makes sense for the environment, and for the long term profitability of Australian companies,” Mr O’Gorman said.
“Fish production from aquaculture is currently the fastest growing animal-food-producing sector in the world, accounting for nearly half of the world’s total food fish supply.
“It is critically important then that aquaculture operations such as salmon farms are managed responsibly so that the industry can be part of a solution to feeding a growing global population without placing further stresses on the environment.”
WWF-Australia and Tassal formed a partnership in 2012 focused on achieving ecologically sustainable aquaculture production, safeguarding valuable marine ecosystems and ensuring the long-term viability of seafood supply.
The aim of the partnership is to ensure all Tassal seafood meets the ASC standards of responsible aquaculture practices by 2015 and to educate consumers about responsibly produced seafood, including ASC certified products. With Tassal aiming to have all six of its farming regions certified to ASC standard by Spring 2014, ASC Certified salmon would then account for 40% of the Australian salmon market.
The ASC is an independent, not-for-profit organisation established to manage global standards for responsible aquaculture. The ASC works with aquaculture producers, seafood processors, retail and food service companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public to promote the best environmental and social choice in responsibly farmed seafood.
The ASC was founded in 2009 by IDH (Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative), supported by WWF.