ASC, D-Fish get serious about responsible aquaculture in Vietnam
In the name of responsible aquaculture for Vietnam, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and the Vietnamese Directorate of Fisheries (D-Fish) have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), vowing to work together when implementing a step-wise approach from VietGAP to ASC certification.
The MoU signing furthers the push for a sustainable aquaculture sector in Vietnam, adding to the significant steps toward sustainability that the government made last year when it set a decree that pangasius farming, processing and exporting must be certified to VietGAP or equivalent standards by the end of 2015.
“The Vietnamese government is committed to reducing the negative impacts of fish farming in the country,” said Pham Anh Tuan, deputy director general of D-Fish. “Building on the mandate that farms must meet VietGAP standards, this project will help move farms towards an internationally recognised standard, provide access to international markets and ensure a more responsible aquaculture sector.”
The joint effort between ASC and D-Fish will facilitate a smooth transition for VietGAP certified farmers progressing to ASC certification – such farmers will be allowed to make incremental improvements to their practices until, alas, they are up to ASC standard.
“I am delighted to sign this MoU today,” said Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO. “Through this project ASC is engaging with a tier of farmers that are currently not able to meet the ASC requirements, including smallholders, who will benefit from greater support in delivering improvements in their practices. This approach also means that ASC becomes a more efficient service provider by reducing costs for producers who wish to gain ASC certification.”
Both Ninnes and Pham Anh Tuan were present to sign the MoU on 22 June in Hanoi.
An external consultant will be leading the project, which has the potential to lead to greater collaboration between the two organizations by adopting the area-based management approach, according to the ASC.