Public consultation opened for three new aquaculture standards
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has launched the first of two 30-day public comment periods for three new standards: the ASC Flatfish Standard; the ASC Seabass, Seabream and Meagre Standard; and the ASC Tropical Marine Finfish Standard.
Stakeholders have until 30 June to provide their feedback.
A practical approach was taken to developing these new standards, basing them on existing multi-stakeholder derived ASC standards content, said the ASC.
For flatfish and seabass, seabream and meagre, and with the help of NGO and industry partners, the ASC field-tested combinations of the existing standards that were relevant to the species.
Site visits for seabass, seabream and meagre were conducted during the early part of 2017 in Greece, Spain, Croatia, Turkey and Japan. For flatfish, site visits were conducted during the later part of 2016 in South Korea and China. The objective of the field-testing exercise was to identify any gaps between the existing standards content and farming practices and performance of the species.
An earlier pilot assessment approach had been undertaken against early versions of the ASC standards and the testing of the applicability of the original ASC audit manuals. The new draft standards are the result of that gap analysis and incorporate input and recommendations from NGOs and industry.
The draft Tropical Marine Finfish Standard is the culmination of a WWF Coral Triangle Aquaculture Dialogue process that began in 2013. During the three-year process, almost 100 stakeholders including producers, civil society organizations, seafood buyers, scientists, academics and government representatives have participated.
The draft standard was finalized after a meeting in Bali, Indonesia in December 2016. Species included in this standard are grouper, snapper, barramundi and pompano. The standard follows closely in line with the other new draft standards and builds off of the expertise and knowledge base of the original Aquaculture Dialogues.