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SALMON FARMS HAVE ASC CERTIFICATION SUSPENDED AND WITHDRAWN

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Salmon farms have ASC certification suspended and withdrawn – A Chilean salmon farm has been suspended from Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification following an escape incident. The Caicura 149 Farm in the Los Lagos region of Chile, operated by Salmones Blumar, was suspended following the mass escape on 28 June 2020.

To ensure independence, ASC certification is audited and applied by separate bodies known as Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs). The CAB in this case is Control Union Peru, which suspended the farm’s certificate on 3 July. While a farm is suspended, product from that farm cannot be sold as ASC certified.

Following a separate escape incident in Norway, a farm operated by Mowi has had its certification withdrawn. The certificate was withdrawn from the Mefaldskjaeret Farm after an investigation by the CAB (Bureau Veritas Denmark) found that an escape on 16 June was not out of the control of the farm and was therefore a breach of the ASC Salmon Standard.

A withdrawn certification means the farm is no longer ASC certified and product from the farm cannot be sold as ASC certified. To become certified again after a withdrawn certificate, a farm must undergo a full audit after 12 months has passed from the withdrawal date.

The ASC Salmon Standard sets extremely strict requirements to ensure that certified farms are minimising their impacts on their local environment and neighbours. One of many criteria in the standard that cover these issues is Criterion 3.4, which includes a number of requirements dealing specifically with escapes. To ensure minimal impact on the environment, no more than 300 fish may escape from an ASC certified farm in any one production cycle, farms must make information on all escapes publicly available, and use effective and accurate monitoring systems. You can read more about why it’s important to prevent escapes from salmon farms, and how ASC helps to do this, on our Aquaculture Insights page about escapes.

The ASC Salmon Standard also includes many other requirements to minimise impacts, such as working closely with neighbouring communities, using medicines responsibly, and monitoring water quality, all of which ensure a farm is being managed responsibly.

In line with ASC’s commitment to transparency, full details of every ASC certified farm, along with the current status of their certification, can be found on the ASC website by using the Find a Farm function. The Programme Assurance section of the ASC website also includes a list of certificates that are currently suspended.

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