The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), fisheries and ASC Chain of Custody (CoC) standards help companies and organisations to promote and identify farm grown fish as having been responsibly produced. The CoC certification process covers fish from ‘farm to plate’ to ensure traceability for all products.
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) was founded in 2010 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) to provide a world-leading certification programme for the aquaculture industry. It covers a wide variety of aquaculture processes globally, and considers both the environmental and social aspects of farming to ensure responsible production. An ASC certified product must also be certified to the Chain of Custody (CoC) standard. This provides rules for the purchase, processing and sale of certified ASC products.
ASC standards cover the following principles:
- Legal compliance (obeying the law, the legal right to be there).
- Preservation of the natural environment and biodiversity.
- Preservation of water resources.
- Preservation of the diversity of species and wild populations (e.g., preventing escapes which could pose a threat to wild fish).
- Responsible use of animal feed and other resources.
- Animal health (no unnecessary use of antibiotics and chemicals).
- Social responsibility (e.g. no child labour, health and safety of workers, freedom of assembly, community relations).