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ASC tracks impacts in new annual report

ASC tracks impacts in new annual report, “Setting The Standard for Seafood” 

With the release of its 2022 Annual Impacts Report, Setting the Standard for Seafood, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) gives a thorough, easy-access analysis of measurable impacts that were made in 2022 as part being made along the course of its mission—to transform aquaculture towards environmental sustainability and social responsibility. 

“It is increasingly being recognised that the aquaculture industry must play a more active role in addressing challenges associated with the demands of a growing human population,” said Chris Ninnes, CEO of ASC. “I am proud of the robust work we are carrying out within ASC to contribute and continue to refine our strategies in support of our mission. And we know that as a sector, we can only continue our positive impacts through strong collaboration and a clear action plan.”​

2022 was a year of growth for ASC, bringing amplified awareness of the ASC label across markets, expanded uptake of the ASC programme with increased numbers of ASC certified farms, delivery of key programme certification and assurance improvements, and a new executive board to steer ASC forward into its next decade.

“To deliver on our mission of transforming aquaculture, it’s crucial that we carefully track and publicly share the impacts of ASC’s work,” said Jill Swasey, ASC’s Head of Impacts. “We see the tangible benefits of ASC certification on farm workers and the environment, and we look forward to increasingly reporting on ASC’s impacts as our programme continues to grow.”

Highlights: 2022 ASC impacts

Within the report, readers will find ASC’s 2022 environmental and social impacts and improvements carefully illustrated and explained. These include:

  • The ASC programme continued providing ecosystem benefits and mitigating impacts. More than 1,400 on-farm improvements were made that conserve and protect biodiversity conservation, enhance responsible use of feed and other resources, and reduce impacts to seafloor habitats, fish health and water quality. 
  • The ASC programme helped farm workers. More than 700 on-farm improvements increased farmer wellbeing, fair and transparent working conditions, and worker health and safety.
  • ASC certification of farms continued to grow, with the number of ASC certified farms increasing 22% from 2021. Independent audits were conducted on more than 1,200 farms to verify their performance.
  • Availability of ASC labelled seafood continued to increase, with 14% more ASC labelled products available to consumers globally than in 2021.
  • ASC certification helped transform the marketplace in 2022. For instance, commitments from key retailers in the UK, along with demand from the French market, led to a 144% growth in ASC certified Scottish salmon farms. This contributed to delivering more than 5 billion portions of ASC certified salmon to the global marketplace.
  • Supply chain assurances were enhanced. A new ASC Chain of Custody module was released, providing a higher level of supply chain assurance, and new traceability tools were piloted to advance “assess and address” approaches to supply chain risks.​
  • Awareness of the ASC label was amplified. An estimated 727 million people saw or heard ASC marketing campaigns at their local supermarkets, on billboards, in newspapers or magazines, on TV or radio, via social media, or at live events.​

Improvements made on ASC certified seafood farms in 2022 mean benefits to ecosystems, farm workers and the health of farmed species.

The report also tracks ASC contributions toward the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), drawing on outcomes of a 2022 ASC study measuring how responsible aquaculture can contribute to the 17 SDGs and their 169 associated targets. Those findings show that ASC addresses half of the targets within each of the 17 SDGs, with more than 80% of those considered to be ‘well ‘or ‘very well’ addressed.

Now in its second year, this report is part of ASC’s annual commitment to demonstrate its progress transparently – underpinned by robust methodology.

Read ASC’s 2022 Annual Impacts Report

View Setting the Standard for Seafood: ASC Annual Impacts Report 2022 in an interactive format, or download a PDF, at this link.