Scottish Sea Farms nets its first ASC accreditation
Scottish Sea Farms has achieved Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for its Summer Isles farms, a first for the salmon producer.
The company said its target is to have up to five farms and facilities ASC certified by the end of 2022.
Scottish Sea Farms’ Aquaculture Technical Lead for ASC certification Anna Price said gaining the first certification was the culmination of two years’ hard work, involving many different departments and functions.
“It wasn’t that we weren’t already farming to high standards; in every instance we were. However, there was still a considerable amount of work involved in evidencing and reworking our processes and procedures,” she said.
Its three Summer Isles farms had average survival rates of 94.2 percent across the last three cycles, an average harvest weight of 6 kilograms, and 91.7 percent of all fish harvested graded as “superior.”
The farms also received an “excellent” rating from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s compliance assessment scheme (CAS), which measures environmental performance for the last two published years (2018 and 2019).
Farm Manager Sarah Last said the last three crops had been record-breaking for the site in terms of high fish survival and low lice levels, and that this was thanks to vigilant husbandry of both salmon and cleaner fish.
“Where ASC certification has been invaluable, however, is in highlighting ways in which we could hone some of our day-to-day activities even further; small changes which, when combined, could make a big difference,” Last said.
In addition to gaining certification of its first farm, Scottish Sea Farms also achieved chain of custody certification for its processing and packing facilities at South Shian, near Oban, Scotland.
Work is now underway to achieve chain of custody certification for the company’s processing and packing facility in Scalloway, and the next farm it has earmarked to pursue certification is Lober Rock in Orkney.
“ASC certification is a win-win,” Price said. “It gives customers further reassurance, and it gives farmers a chance to see and draw from international best practice. Going for certification of more farms can only be a good thing for all.”
Scottish Sea Farms has three freshwater hatcheries, 58 marine farms, and three processing and packing facilities around Scotland’s west coast and Northern Isles.
Photo courtesy of Scottish Sea Farms