The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has launched its new Salmon Standard (v 1.4) which focuses on sea lice management. The purpose of this updated version is to strengthen sampling and monitoring and immediate remedial action when needed.
Thereby, ASC hopes that farms can reduce potential impacts on wild salmonid populations while improving fish health and welfare on-site. It will establish best practices in managing potential disease and parasite risks linked to sea lice.
Main changes to previous versions consist in monitoring the less-researched species Caligus, where applicable (especially British Columbia, Canada). Therefore, the sector can study and understand more this species.
Besides, the Technical Working Group concluded that sea lice depend basically on species, population, and geographic regions. So, it needs a regional approach.
To clarify, farms will need to inform the Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) within one working day if the sea lice limit is reached and take corrective action.
ASC will cancel the certification if the farm doesn't bring sea lice levels below the threshold within 21 days.
The standard is reviewed every three to five years, according to the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance (ISEAL) requirements.
"ASC recognizes the need to continuously improve our standards and finetune the requirements to make sure they deliver the intended positive impact. It will regularly review established sea lice limits across different regions and update its thresholds where necessary," Chris Ninnes, ASC CEO noted.
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council is a certification program and label for farmed seafood – also known as aquaculture. ASC intends to address some of the most pressing consumer, social and environmental challenges of our time.