NGO calls for ASC to require certified feed in fish farms


Sean Murphy, SeafoodSource online editor

Published on
September 22, 2015

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is weighing in on the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)’s new sustainable aquaculture certification standards, saying the ASC should require certification by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) on feed.

The ASC has solicited comments on the proposed new standards for its certification program, and the MSC is calling for stricter standards on feed based on fishmeal. Specifically, the MSC is asking the ASC’s standards to require feed manufacturers to source wild fish for fishmeal from MSC-certified fisheries.

“By requiring reduction fisheries to be MSC certified, ASC can most effectively protect biodiversity in our oceans,” said Aaron McNevin, director of aquaculture for the WWF’s sustainable food program. “Feed companies and the aquaculture industry have had five years to build a sustainable, MSC certified supply of marine feed ingredients. It’s time for progress, not further delay. We can’t kick this can down the road any longer.”

Activists have long criticized the fishmeal industry for overfishing small pelagic stocks such as mackerel. The WWF, in a recent report on ocean health, discussed the need for better standards for feed production, and in a statement said the ASC has a chance to implement such standards.

“With its draft feed standard, ASC has a significant opportunity to improve the way it measures and manages the environmental impacts of feed,” McNevin said. “ASC should reaffirm its support for MSC certified feed in order to protect wild fish stocks.”

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