Seafood Legacy and Aquaculture Stewardship Council forge collaborative agreement
Tokyo, Japan-based environmental organization Seafood Legacy signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) on 14 September, 2022.
Through the agreement, the parties will strengthen their exchange of information, seek opportunities for media collaboration, and develop links between production areas and markets and domestic and international distribution channels.
“We recognize that the aquaculture industry has a vital role to play in solving the problem of food shortage caused by an increasing global population,” Seafood Legacy CEO Wakao Hanaoka said. “With the signing of this MoU, we will deepen our collaboration with the ASC and accelerate our contribution to the growth of Japan's seafood industry to create a prosperous society for future generations. We will pursue this by rebuilding a seafood business model based on environmental sustainability and social responsibility and by strengthening collaboration in the global supply chain, especially in Japan, which is one of the world's major seafood markets.”
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council is an independent nonprofit organization co-founded by the World Wildlife Fund and The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) in 2010 to manage the certification of responsible fish farming across the globe. The ASC standards require farming performance to be measured against both environmental and social requirements. ASC certification is completed through an independent third party process.
“Our goal is to increase the percentage of environmentally sustainable and socially responsible aquaculture and marine products in Japan, and at the same time, to expand the distribution of these products to overseas markets so that the Japanese seafood industry will become more sustainable and responsible,” ASC General Manager for Japan Koji Yamamoto said.
The standards developed by ASC include monitoring key indicators like water quality, mitigating impacts on the surrounding environments, and engaging with neighboring communities to ensure that ASC-certified farms are meeting ASC’s stringent criteria for certification. In Japan, as of August 2022, 82 companies had achieved ASC certification. In the latest ASC consumer survey, consumer awareness of eco-labels, such as the ASC label, reached 23 percent in 2021, a growth of over 150 percent from the 9 percent recorded in 2019.
“The Japanese seafood industry consists of a large number of world-leading seafood companies, as well as family businesses,” Yamamoto said. “The transformation of the industry towards more environmentally and socially responsible practices is only possible with consolidated efforts from stakeholders across the sector. We at ASC are therefore delighted to be entering this agreement with Seafood Legacy Co., who will be essential in helping to achieve this transformation.”
Photo courtesy of Seafood Legacy