The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is an independent, international non-profit organization that sets and manages standards for responsible aquaculture. The ASC certification program aims to promote sustainable practices in the aquaculture industry and provide assurance to consumers that the products they purchase have been produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. One of the certified species under the ASC program is shrimp. Here are some key points about ASC Shrimp certification:
Environmental Criteria: ASC Shrimp certification sets strict environmental criteria that shrimp farms must meet. These criteria focus on minimizing the negative impacts of shrimp farming on the surrounding ecosystems, such as reducing water pollution, protecting biodiversity, and promoting responsible use of resources.
Social Criteria: ASC Shrimp certification also includes social criteria that address the welfare and working conditions of farm employees. It encourages fair labor practices, respect for workers' rights, and safe working environments.
Feed and Health Management: ASC Shrimp certification requires farms to adopt responsible feed and health management practices. This includes reducing the use of antibiotics and chemicals, promoting responsible sourcing of feed ingredients, and implementing disease prevention and control measures.
Traceability and Chain of Custody: The ASC certification program ensures traceability and transparency throughout the supply chain. Certified farms and processing facilities are audited to verify that the ASC-certified shrimp can be identified and separated from non-certified products, providing consumers with confidence in the origin and sustainability of the shrimp they purchase.
Independent Auditing: Farms seeking ASC Shrimp certification undergo independent audits by accredited certification bodies. These audits assess compliance with the ASC standards, including on-site inspections and document reviews. Regular audits are conducted to ensure ongoing compliance and continuous improvement.
Consumer Awareness: The ASC label on shrimp products signifies that the shrimp have been produced in accordance with responsible aquaculture practices. It helps consumers make informed choices by supporting environmentally and socially responsible shrimp farming.
ASC Shrimp certification plays a vital role in promoting sustainable shrimp farming practices and providing consumers with a reliable way to identify and support responsible aquaculture operations. By choosing shrimp products with the ASC label, consumers can contribute to the conservation of aquatic ecosystems, protect biodiversity, and support the well-being of shrimp farming communities.