Assure buyers, retailers and consumers that your aquaculture production conforms to the world's leading standard for responsibly farmed fish and seafood with Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification. SCS offers pre-assessments and assessments for all species covered under the ASC label including salmon, bivalves, tilapia, seriola/cobia, abalone and shrimp.
Any aquaculture producer who farms one of the species covered by the ASC standards can take part in the ASC certification program.
SCS offers pre-assessments for the following ASC standards:
SCS is accredited to perform full-assessments for ASC Salmon, Abalone, Tilapia and Bivalves, and is currently a formal applicant for the ASC Shrimp standard. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming certified against additional ASC standards.
Accreditation (the ability to issue certificates) is open for the ASC Salmon, Pangasius and Tilapia standards. Accreditation for the bivalves, abalone, shrimp and freshwater trout standards is expected to open soon. SCS will make accreditation decisions according to demand. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming certified against any of these standards.
To receive certification, a client fishery must meet or exceed the minimum standards for legality, including: land and water usage; pollution and waste management; genetics and biodiversity, feed management; health management, veterinary medicines and chemicals; and social accountability.
SCS Global Services can conduct pre-assessments against any of the ASC standards, whether in draft or final form. Pre-assessments allow producers to determine their conformity to emerging or existing ASC standards and identify any improvements needed. This sets producers up to be among the first companies certified, and to demonstrate to buyers their firm commitment to supplying ASC certified products.
A pre-assessment includes:
To achieve certification, pre-assessment of any publically available standard is followed by a formal full assessment. Cost considerations for full assessment include the extent of production, the number and type of improvements needed, and the steps needed to audit these changes (e.g., is an onsite audit needed, what auditing skill set is required).
SCS offers pre-assessments for the following species:
SCS evaluates the qualifications of your aquaculture operation and determines what risks, if any, may limit your ability to successfully complete a rigorous and comprehensive assessment.
On-Site Farm Audit
SCS conducts a full farm assessment, following procedures described in the ASC's Farm Assessment Methodology. An independent assessment team reviews documentation, interviews stakeholders and evaluates aquaculture operations against specific environmental and social practices.
Audit Report and Public Comment
The SCS certification team writes a draft report, which is reviewed by the client and two independent peer reviewers. Information that relates to competitive advantage may be removed from the audit report at this point, in agreement with the assessment team.The report is then posted for public comment.
After considering all comments, a final report is released that includes the final decision on whether or not to award certification. If no objections have been raised, the public certification report is published and your aquaculture operation receives a certificate from SCS.
Certificates are valid for three years. Certification is subject to random surveillance audits in which critical control points such as harvest are observed.
ASC Certification provides independent assurance to your customers that your farmed fish and seafood products comply with rigorous environmental and social criteria, leading to the following benefits:
ASC is the gold standard among aquaculture standards. The ASC Standards were created by an open and transparent multi-stakeholder initiative, convened by the World Wildlife Fund. ASC was built following the most stringent methods for standards setting, and is a scheme with credibility elements that conform to the FAO Guidelines for Ecolabelling and the ISEAL Alliance Code of Conduct. Choosing ASC means that your certificate will show that your operation has been third-party audited to a stringent level of performance, via a label established collaboratively by public interest groups, industry and academia. Many other standards are industry-founded, may not be third-party audited, may not have transparent governance structures, or may not have provided the opportunity for stakeholder engagement.
The ASC standard requires audits by assessment teams with strict and extensive technical requirements that are not applied in many other certification schemes for aquaculture.
Costs will vary depending on the location, size and complexity of your aquaculture operation. We will tailor a quote for you based on information in your application form.
The length of the assessment will depend on a variety of factors including the size and complexity of the farm. The actual farm audit takes between 1 and 4 days, undertaken by a two to three person assessment team.
The certificate is valid for maximum of one year from the date of issue.
SCS has already undertaken a number of confidential pre-assessments against the Shrimp, Bivalve, Abalone and Salmon standards, and is actively involved in pilot projects for ASC.
With over ten years experience in MSC fisheries management certification, SCS is well positioned to offer ASC Responsible Aquaculture certification.
For the most up-to-date information regarding certified farms and farms in assessment, see the ASC Website’s ASC Website's Find A Farm/ Supplier feature.