Today, more than half of the fish we consume comes from fish farming, or ‘aquaculture’. This rise happened because of the growing global population and its demand for food. But if farming cannot be done responsibly, it will damage to the environment. Therefore, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) was established.

Who is ASC and what do they do?

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council or ASC is an international non-profit organization working to make aquaculture more sustainable. The ASC farming standards have been developed by thousands of scientists, non-governmental organizations and industry experts. To become ASC certified, a farm’s production has to be checked by an independent auditor to make sure whether or not they pass all the required standards.

How can farms get certified?

To receive the ASC label, the production of a fish farm must not harm the environment, no matter their operations are on rivers, lakes, or the ocean.

The ASC ensures the use of chemicals and antibiotics must be reduced and the water quality is not impacted by farming activities.

The ASC standard also addresses social impacts. Specifically, slavery, child labor and discrimination are strictly forbidden; employees have safe work places and are paid fair wages.

Farms must also care for communities, which means they need to hire local workers whenever possible and make sure to maintain access to important resources (clean water, fishing grounds, etc.).