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The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has reached a milestone, launching its first standard into the market with the opening of the accreditation process for tilapia.

Certifiers can now apply to become accredited, and, when concluded, it will allow them to undertake the first farm assessments against the ASC tilapia standards. The accreditation is carried out by the independent accreditation body Accreditation Services International (ASI).

The process will allow the first responsibility farmed ASC-certified seafood to hit the market.

“ACS’s use of third-party and independent accreditation and certification processes will underpin the long-term credibility of our standards and ultimately the effectiveness of our organization to achieve its mission,” said ASC CEO Chris Ninnes. “This effectiveness has its foundation in the organization’s independent governance structure that actively seeks broad stakeholder engagement.”

The ASC began its operation phase in May 2011. Standards for tilapia were finalized in December 2009 by the Tilapia Aquaculture Dialogue, a process coordinated by the World Wildlife Fund. Standards for pangasius and bivalves were completed in August 2010, followed by abalone in October 2011. Standards for a few more species, including salmon and freshwater trout, are still being developed.

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