Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Certification
ASC Certification Addresses Mislabelling and Seafood Quality
Every participant in the heavily regulated supply chain of fish farms is concerned about the presence of antibiotics and compliance with DNA specifications in the final product. By promoting responsible fish farming (aquaculture) and management, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification enables buyers and consumers to make informed decisions about sustainable seafood purchases. As an accredited certifier of ASC, NSF enables producers to enjoy a competitive advantage over non-compliant sources.
NSF Certifies the Independent ASC Standard
The ASC logo identifies farm-grown seafood that adheres to environmentally sustainable processes. These improve disease control, fish mortality, the quality of discharged water, the upkeep of fish stocks and local ecosystems. Socially responsible practices address worker safety, pay and community relations. ASC‘s chain of custody (traceability) certification ensures that seafood is properly identified, segregated, and traceable – using DNA testing and supply chain reconciliation processes. By charging no audit fee and opening its reports to public view, ASC remains independent and transparent.
ASC’s History and Standards Details
Jointly founded by the World Wildlife Fund and Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative, ASC is a standards organisation that aligns with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and ISEAL Standards Setting Code of Good Practice:
- Farm standards cover 17 species groups: abalone; bivalves (clams, mussels, oyster, scallop); flatfish; freshwater trout; pangasius; salmon; seabass, seabream, meagre; seriola and cobia; shrimp; tilapia; and tropical marine finfish.
- Chain of Custody Standards (traceability) assure buyers and consumers that products come from certified farms. ASC uses the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard to verify origin. Companies that handle both ASC- and MSC-certified seafood can combine audits and receive separate certificates.
- Seaweed production standards are designed to enhance water quality, water movement, and aquatic and terrestrial habitats.