A selection of the most important requirements
1. To avoid changes to the sea and land environments around the fish farms
The location of the fish farm is assessed in relation to protected areas, habitats of endangered species and natural wetlands.
2. Good water quality
In order to ensure good oxygen conditions in the waterways, there is a minimum limit for oxygen saturation in the effluent water from the fish farms. Phosphorus is used as an indicator of how good a fish farmer is at minimising the discharge of nutrients per ton of produced fish.
3. Minimising of negative effects on water resources
Demands are made on the fresh water supply to both surface and ground water. Ensuring sufficient free water in waterways to maintain flora and fauna also requires that at least half of the flow of water to the stream must flow freely past the fish farm.
4. Handling of waste
An overview map of the flow of water and waste, a plan for handling sludge, an operation journal of sludge handling must be prepared and spillage of sludge and other biological substances into the surrounding area is not allowed.
In consideration of the fish:
1. Health plan
A veterinary health plan can contribute to the reduction of disease. Consequently, a health plan is required for the fish farm. The plan must be reviewed at least once annually and focus on bio-security, animal health, crisis management and prevention.
2. Prevention of escape
Escaped fish are a potential source of infection with diseases from fish farming to nature. The certified fish farm must be able to provide evidence of well-organised and good practices at the fish farm to prevent the escape of fish during growth and slaughter.
3. Minimal chemical and medicine consumption
The ASC label makes stringent demands on the consumption of medicine and chemicals and consumers can be certain that these substances are limited to an absolute minimum.
Requirements for fish feed
1. Requirements for fish meal and fish oil
In order to avoid over-fishing of wild species, the ASC standards require that marine feed ingredients come from responsible fisheries. ASC supports the use of marine cut-offs and by-products to the extent that they do not originate from endangered species.
2. Requirements for feed
The requirements for fish feed include, e.g. the correct feed combination and traceability of the raw ingredients. The fish farmer must have knowledge of the most important ingredients in the feed, especially animal by-products. This is due, among other things, to the aim of promoting a good purchasing policy via responsible use of cultivated feed plants and the exclusion of ingredients that originate from areas in which considerable organic damage has occurred.
Working environment and consideration of local society
The ASC standards also take the working environment and local society into account. Therefore, the ASC certification includes important labour market aspects, including, e.g.
- Freedom of association
- The right to collective negotiations
- Freedom from discrimination
- Reasonable wages and working hours
- Safe working conditions
The standards also focus on a fish farm's collaboration with local society. The standards have the aim to ensure that new fish farms involve the surrounding society in a discussion about the production's potential social consequences. In addition, all fish farms must demonstrate regular communication with the surrounding society and a transparent process for the handling of complaints.