CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. -- British Columbia is now home to North America’s first salmon farm certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council. Marine Harvest Canada has announced that its Marsh Bay farm has joined fewer than 30 salmon farms worldwide in achieving the certification first developed by the World Wildlife Fund. The company expects its first ASC certified salmon to be available to consumers in February.
“Members of the BCSFA are committed to world leading practices, and having Marine Harvest Canada achieve its first ASC certification is another step in validating the efforts and commitment made by the companies farming in British Columbia,” said BCSFA Executive Director Jeremy Dunn. Cermaq Canada currently has two of its farms in ASC assessment.
The ASC standard is the most recently developed and most demanding global sustainability certification system. The standard was developed through a dialogue process led by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that engaged over 2,000 representatives from the global aquaculture industry, retail and foodservice sector, NGOs, government and scientific community between 2004 and 2015.
'This is especially gratifying. WWF was brought into salmon aquaculture when the B.C. industry and NGOs asked us to help them find a viable way to settle their differences. The result was the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue and subsequent ASC standards. This is the direction the industry needs to move and I am very encouraged both by the overall commitment of the B.C. industry to ASC and this first proof of their commitment,' said Jason Clay World Wildlife Fund Senior Vice President, Food & Markets.
By 2020, B.C. aims to be the first region in the world to be certified by ‘Gold Standard’ environmental programs, which includes having all farm-raised Atlantic salmon ASC certified. B.C. is the first and only salmon farming region to have all of its Atlantic salmon certified by the Global Aquaculture Alliance Best Aquaculture Practices program. The province is also home to North America’s first certified organic Chinook producer in Creative Salmon. Today, over 50 per cent of the world’s seafood is farmed, with projections showing this figure will explode to 75 per cent in just 15 years.