Océans en santé. Communautés en santé

Global Review of the ASC Salmon Standard

October 18, 2018

Vancouver:  Today, SeaChoice released our Global Review of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council's Salmon Standard. An in-depth analysis of over 450 farm audits, this report uncovers troubling trends in the application of the Standard throughout the world. 

Cover of the Global Review of Aquaculture Stewardship Council's Salmon Standard

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s (ASC) “responsibly farmed” eco-label is considered the gold Standard of farmed seafood eco-certifications. But our review of ASC certified salmon farms around the world found considerable concerns with the continued credibility and rigour of the scheme. SeaChoice offers ASC our recommendations to reverse the erosion that has occurred to the Salmon Standard and to improve confidence in its application.

It is critical that eco-certifications are leading to genuine changes on the water and not simply rewarding business as usual. Otherwise, eco-certifications are at risk of losing credibility and consumer trust. SeaChoice calls on the ASC to immediately correct such amendments that weaken the Standard’s stated goal of best practice certification.

The Salmon Standard asserts that farms must meet 100 per cent compliance to be certified. We found this to be misleading, because in practice this is not really the case. ASC sanctioned deviations from the Standard and auditor rules mean few farms actually follow the Standard as written.


About the review

  • Our review looks at every audit filed for each of the 257 certified salmon farms from the first farm certified in 2014 through March 15, 2018.  
  • It examines both the conformance of farms with the Salmon Standard and aspects of farm performance based in part on data external to the audits. Finally, it examines changes in how the Salmon Standard is applied, and even changes to the Standard itself, and assesses the impact of those changes.
  • Review included major salmon farming regions: Australia, Canada, Chile, Norway, Scotland, Ireland and Faroes.

A summary report, regional synopses and the full technical report may be accessed on the SeaChoice website here.