About 70% of the salmon eaten around the world is farmed. On such a scale, poor farming practices have the potential to cause negative environmental impacts. Managing interactions with endangered and threatened species, such as seals, birds, and sharks that may be attracted to the aquaculture farms is important so as to minimise impacts on these species.
By directly working with farmers, WWF-Australia is providing a framework for responsible salmon production as the aquaculture industry continues to grow. Our collaboration with Tassal – the largest salmon aquaculture business in Australia both by volume and market share – serves as a model and inspiration for responsible salmon production.
We’re now working with other seafood producers to help them achieve similar Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification. This is the highest independent standard for responsibly farmed seafood in the world and includes strict requirements for minimising escapes, chemical use, predator control and effluent release. ASC certification also prescribes that food ingredients come from sustainable sources, and outlines habitat protection.
Consumers opting for ASC-certified products can be assured that they’re purchasing seafood from farms that manage their impacts on surrounding environments and communities. Tassal achieved ASC certification well ahead of time and is the first salmon farming company globally to have achieved this certification for its entire operations.
WWF-Australia is very pleased to be working with Tassal to support responsible salmon farming. Learn more about WWF-Australia and the Tassal partnership here.
The market response since the launch of the ASC salmon standard has been remarkable. And I'm delighted to see it expand in Australia. I'd like to congratulate Tassal and its staff for their effort and commitment to achieving ASC certification for all of their farms. Their work and dedication will undoubtedly have a positive effect for the future of aquaculture in the region as it moves towards environmental sustainability and social responsibility.
Some 61% of the Australian salmon market is now ASC-certified.
Timeline of action
2012 WWF-Australia and Tassal enter a partnership to work towards the responsible production of salmon in Tasmania.
2013 Tassal undertakes a pre-assessment audit against the ASC Salmon Standard and invests to meet the strict requirements of the ASC standard. In preparedness to meet the ASC standard, Tassal reduces its antibiotic use, rolls out seal-proof bird nets, educates all staff in wildlife interactions, improves fish health procedures and staffing, removes copper-treated nets and develops in situ cleaning to move away from all forms of antifoulant use.
2014 Tassal achieves its first Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for the Macquarie Harbour farm site in April, continues to implement changes in all other farms and achieves ASC certification for all six of its farms by November.
- 2016 Petuna, the second largest salmon farmer by volume in Tasmania, achieves ASC certification, taking the market share of Tasmanian Salmon that is ASC certified to over 60%.