First oyster farms enter ASC assessment
Three UK oyster farms are the first in the world to enter Aquaculture Stewardship Council assessment for responsible aquaculture.
Jersey Sea Farms, Jersey Oyster Ltd and Seymour Oysters, all based in Jersey, UK, were recently assessed against the ASC Bivalve Standard.
“From day one, we knew that we wanted to achieve ASC certification. We made the decision to get involved with the ASC program at an early stage by taking part in the pilot audits,” said Tony Legg, owner of Jersey Sea Farms.
“By gaining certification against the ASC Bivalve Standard we can show our customers that the farm operates with the highest regard for the environment and local communities. Through cooperating with the two other oyster farms on the island that have entered assessment against the ASC standard … we are together looking to place ASC-certified Pacific and native oysters in the European market by Christmas.”
Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO, welcomed the “fantastic” news. “I look forward to watching the progress of these assessments with the help of our website e-alert tool and hopefully celebrating the first certified oysters in the market later in the year,” he said.
Jersey Sea Farms was audited by independent, third-party certifier Control Union Peru in September this year. Owned and singlehandedly operated by Legg, the farm is striving to produce 75 metric tons (MT) per annum of top-quality European native oysters (Ostrea edulis).
The ASC Bivalve Standard was developed by a diverse stakeholder group with hundreds of participants and addresses key impacts of bivalves farming, such as responsible use of therapeutics and antibiotics, site impacts, protection of natural habitats, pollution and waste management, and labour rights for farm workers.