ASC first for Dutch turbot farmer Seafarm

Published on
January 19, 2022
Seafarm has become the first fish-farming operation in the world to secure certification against the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s flatfish standard.

Kamperland, Zeeland, The Netherlands-based turbot producer Seafarm has become the first fish-farming operation in the world to secure certification against the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s (ASC) flatfish standard.

Seafarm has been producing farmed seafood for decades, taking what it calls a “whole-circle” approach to farming turbot, from breeding to selling the fish in its on-site restaurant. It also supplies other chefs and supermarkets. Seafarm achieved its certification following an auditing process carried out by independent certifier SGS.

“We come from a fishing family, so we have always had a strong connection with the sea, and a strong desire to protect the environment on which we rely for our food,” Seafarm Co-Owner Dave Bout said. “ASC certification gives our customers a demonstrable assurance of this commitment. It means we can show them that our environmental dedication has been transparently audited. Running our own restaurant on-site, we know that this sort of assurance is increasingly important to seafood lovers.”

ASC’s flatfish standard was established in 2019 in response to market demand for species like turbot, halibut, and flounder. To achieve certification, a flatfish farm has to demonstrate it is limiting environmental impacts such as minimizing chemical use and maintaining high water quality, as well as acting in a socially responsible way by providing workers with a safe and fair working environment, and treating neighbors and local communities with respect.

ASC General Manager for the Netherlands Maud van den Haspel said the certification was both a demonstration of Seafarm’s dedicated approach to responsible farming.

“It’s also great news for consumers, because it means they can enjoy turbot knowing it has been produced with minimal environmental and social impacts. I’m confident that this will be the first of many certifications. Seafarm’s achievement will encourage more producers to follow suit and demonstrate their environmental credentials,” she said.

As part of Seafarm’s environmental ambitions, the company is also working on improvements to its energy-efficiency and waste disposal with the aim of producing fish using only renewable energy.

Photo courtesy of Seafarm

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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