Aquaculture North America

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Review finds ASC standards lax on BC salmon farms

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is lax in enforcing its eco-certification standards on salmon farms in British Columbia, according to a Vancouver-based seafood watchdog that reviewed ASC’s publicly available reports and annual audits.


November 2, 2017
By Liza Mayer
SeaChoice accuses ASC of lowering its standards when it comes to assessing BC salmon farms in order to accommodate current industry practices

ACS certification verifies that farmed fish was raised in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. However, SeaChoice accuses ASC of lowering its standards when it comes to assessing BC salmon farms in order “to accommodate current industry practices.”

It is not the first time that SeaChoice — a coalition of Canadian environmental groups — has accused ASC of giving BC salmon farms an easier time in order to gain ASC’s stamp of approval. In June, the group said ASC allows BC salmon farms to be certified with more than 60 times the number of sea lice permitted by the standard.

“ASC’s claim of 100-percent compliance to be certified is misleading,” said SeaChoice.

The group said it will continue to work with ASC to help improve key areas and will also work to improve government policies and regulations regarding sustainable fishing and farming of seafood.

Seventeen BC salmon farms are ASC-certified, and about eight are currently under assessment. BC’s salmon industry aims to achieve ASC certification for all farmed salmon in the province by 2020.

“It is crucial these eco-labels are credibly applied and delivering genuine improvements ‘on the water,’ said SeaChoice.