Aquaculture Stewardship Council names ASI

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
September 16, 2010

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has chosen Accreditation Services International (ASI) as its independent accreditation body, the groups recently announced.

This decision is part of the group’s core task, the management of fish-farming standards as developed by the Aquaculture Dialogues and the implementation of a world-class certification process for aquaculture.

“The appointment of ASI as our independent accreditation body marks an important milestone in our development. We are pleased that we can start working on the implementation of the Global Standards for Responsible Aquaculture in close cooperation with ASI. We are now in a position to set up an independent third-party verification scheme and work with producers and certification bodies to develop robust processes for certification against the standards,” said Philip Smith, ASC’s CEO.

Aquaculture standards have been completed by the Aquaculture Dialogues for tilapia, pangasius and bivalves (clams, mussels, oysters and scallops). Standards for six other farmed species (abalone, freshwater trout, salmon, shrimp, seriola and cobia) are projected to be finalized by the end of this year or early 2011.

ASI is an independent organization that delivers accreditation and other services to the Forest Stewardship Council, the Marine Stewardship Council and other certification schemes worldwide.

“By including independent third-party accreditation as an oversight process the ASC is demonstrating the maximum credibility and effectiveness of the ASC verification system. Accreditation endorses certification bodies’ competence, credibility, independence and integrity in carrying out their conformity assessment activities. One of the important outcomes of the implementation of standards by applicants for certification is that they assist in creating a benchmarking culture with the ultimate benefit of continuous improvement,” said Sam Ponder, ASI’s managing director.

ASI is an associate member of the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance (ISEAL) and operates according to the international ISO/IEC 17011 general requirements for accreditation bodies. The ASC is an independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 2009 by the World Wildlife Fund and the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative. The council is responsible for managing and implementing the international standards for environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture developed by the Aquaculture Dialogues.

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