Nireus aims for ASC certification for three sea bream, sea bass farms
Koropi, Greece-based sea bass and sea bream farmer Nireus is seeking Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification for three of its farms in Greece.
“The future of aquaculture can be ensured only by improving the responsibility of industry’s practices,” Nireus said in a press release. “This is of vital importance in an attempt to minimize the impact on the marine environment.”
The certification is being sought by Nireus as part of a partnership formed in 2013 with supermarket chain ΑB Vassilopoulos, a member of the Ahold-Delhaize Group, and WWF Greece.
"We have set an ambitious target at AB Vassilopoulos: A large part of the seafood we are offering to the Greek consumer comes from sustainable and responsible sources. Offering certified sea bream and sea bass will help us to contribute to further reduction of the aquaculture impact in the Greek marine environment, while enabling consumers to reward the best practices" Dionysis Dionysopoulos, director of AB Vassilopoulos’ quality assurance department, said in a press release.
The farms received an auditing visit in March 2019 by third-party auditor TUV Austria Hellas. Nireus is seeking to be among the first certified under ASC’s new standard for sea bream, sea bass, and meagre, which was launched in September 2018. The new standard was created following a multi-stakeholder standards-creation process, which included collaboration with NGOs and industry partners and site visits to farms in Greece, Turkey, and Japan.
“Aquaculture is the fastest-growing food production system in the world. However, the rapid growth of aquaculture industry has not come without impacts. With the development of the new ASC standard for Mediterranean species, there is an opportunity to replicate this initiative in other farms throughout the Mediterranean and significantly and measurably reduce the environmental impact,” WWF Greece Conservation Director Konstantinos Liarikos said.
Nireus Director of Quality, Research, and Development Leonidas Papaharisis said the company was satisfied to have embarked upon the next stage of a project that has been underway for more than five years.
“With this initiative, our goal is achieved and our products will be produced through applying further responsible practices, beneficial for both the environment and society,” Papaharisis said.
Photo courtesy of Nireus