The MSC standard is for wild-capture fisheries. However, two of WA’s aquaculture fisheries - pearling and Cockburn Sound mussels, because they have a wild-capture component as part of their fishery, will undergo pre-assessment for MSC certification.
Other large WA aquaculture enterprises will have the opportunity to gain independent third party certification in due course. As yet no decision has been made on the certification body, however one of the organisations that will be considered is the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.
Founded in 2010 by WWF and IDH (Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative), the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is an independent, not for profit organisation with global influence.
ASC aims to be the world's leading certification and labelling programme for responsibly farmed seafood. The ASC’s primary role is to manage the global standards for responsible aquaculture, which were developed by the WWF Aquaculture Dialogues.
The ASC currently has standards to cover 12 species groups: salmon, shrimp, tilapia, pangasius, trout, abalone, bivalves (oysters, mussels, clams and scallops) and seriola/cobia.
A standard for Barramundi is being developed.
Once a farm is compliant and certified against the relevant standard, its ASC certified products can bear the easily identifiable ASC logo, giving its customers and consumers absolute reassurance that the seafood comes from a well-managed farm.