The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is an independent certification and labeling program that promotes responsible aquaculture practices worldwide. The ASC certification is awarded to aquaculture operations that meet rigorous environmental and social standards.
One of the certified species under the ASC program is Pangasius, a type of freshwater fish commonly farmed in Southeast Asia. The ASC Pangasius standard sets specific criteria and requirements for responsible farming practices to ensure the sustainability of Pangasius production.
The ASC Pangasius certification covers several key areas:
Environmental Responsibility: The standard focuses on minimizing the environmental impacts of Pangasius farming. It addresses issues such as water quality management, effluent control, responsible feed sourcing, disease and pest management, and the protection of biodiversity and habitats.
Social Responsibility: The ASC Pangasius standard also addresses social aspects of farming operations. It promotes fair and safe working conditions for employees, respects human rights, and ensures community engagement and consultation.
Food Safety and Traceability: The certification requires robust food safety management systems to ensure the production of safe and high-quality Pangasius. It also emphasizes traceability throughout the supply chain to enable transparency and accountability.
Animal Welfare: The ASC Pangasius standard includes requirements for the responsible handling and welfare of farmed fish. It promotes practices that minimize stress and provide suitable living conditions for the fish.
Aquaculture operations seeking ASC Pangasius certification undergo a thorough assessment process conducted by independent third-party certification bodies. The process involves on-site inspections, document reviews, and audits to verify compliance with the ASC standards.
By achieving ASC Pangasius certification, fish farms demonstrate their commitment to environmentally and socially responsible practices in Pangasius farming. The certification provides assurance to consumers that the Pangasius products they purchase have been produced in a sustainable and responsible manner.
The ASC certification program, including the ASC Pangasius standard, contributes to the long-term sustainability of aquaculture by promoting responsible practices, protecting ecosystems, supporting local communities, and providing consumers with a reliable and credible labeling system for sustainable seafood choices.