The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standards set strict requiremenets for responsible farming, which encourage seafood producers to minimise the key environmental and social impacts of aquaculture. The current eight ASC standards cover 12 species: abalone, bivalves (clams, mussels, oyster, scallop), freshwater trout, pangasius, salmon, shrimp, tilapia, seriola and cobia, seabass, seabream and meagre. There is also a joint ASC-MSC standard for seaweed.
The ASC standards focus on both the environmental and social impact of farming
  • Environmentally

farms must show that they actively minimise their impact on the surrounding natural environment. This extends to careful management of the fish health and resources.

  • Socially

farms must be a good and conscientious neighbour; that means operating their farm in a socially responsible manner, caring for their employees and working with the local community.

The standards for responsible aquaculture are based on best practices and sound science. The measurable, metric- and performance-based standards apply globally to farming systems covering a range of locations, types and scales of operations.

To ensure a credible, inclusive and transparent standard setting process the standards were developed in line with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) guidelines and ISEAL’s (International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling) Codes of Good Practice. All ASC standards are also managed in compliance with the ISEAL Standard Setting Code and ASC Standard Setting Procedure.