Tasmanian salmon producer Tassal has achieved an Australian first with Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) accreditation for its Macquarie Harbour farms.

Tassal chief executive officer and managing director Mark Ryan said this accreditation was the “gold standard” for salmon farming in the world.

“We are the first Australian aquaculture company of any species, and one of the first salmon farming companies in the world, to achieve this certification,” he said.

“This is an excellent outcome for the company after a lot of hard work by many people in the organisation.

“Importantly, the ASC accreditation provides credible, third party validation of how responsibly we farm our salmon.

“The level of transparency associated with the audit at both an environmental and corporate social responsibility level provides our customers and the Tasmanian community with comfort that we are focused on producing seafood to the highest global standards.”

Since 2012 Tassal and WWF Australia have worked in a partnership for sustainable aquaculture. Key to this was Tassal’s commitment to becoming the first aquaculture operation in the Asia Pacific to achieve ASC certification for salmon.

“WWF congratulates Tassal on achieving the region’s first ASC certification as a great example of an Australian company demonstrating global leadership on sustainability.” said WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman.

“This is the highest gold standard for responsibly farmed seafood and gives an assurance that salmon farms with ASC Certification are being managed in a way that minimises impacts on the marine environment.

“With more and more customers demanding sustainable products, it makes sense for the environment and for the bottom line of Australian companies.”

The ASC’s standards include strict requirements for minimisation of fish escapes, chemical use and predator control.

There are also strict requirements for feed ingredients to be from sustainable sources, habitat protection, freshwater smolt (baby salmon) production, disease management, social responsibility and community and stakeholder engagement.

Mr Ryan said these requirements ensured that only the most up-to-date operators and those with the best-managed sites were able to comply with the ASC’s high standards and gain certification.

The ASC was founded in 2010 by the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative with the support of WWF. ASC is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that works with aquaculture producers, seafood processors, retail and food service companies, scientists, conservation groups and consumers to:

  • Recognise and reward responsible aquaculture through the ASC aquaculture certification program and seafood label.
  • Promote best environmental and social choice when buying seafood.
  • Contribute to transforming seafood markets towards sustainability.

Tassal is an ASX-listed public company that employs more than 850 people.

It operates two salmon hatcheries, three processing facilities, two retail outlets and marine farms in six regions throughout the state. With Tassal aiming to have all six of its farming regions certified to ASC standard by Spring 2014, ASC Certified salmon will account for 40 per cent of the Australian salmon market.

Released by: Nicolas Turner Tel: 6210 5206 or 0418 538 865