30 Sept 2016


UPDATE - 3 Sept 2021: Standards like Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) are important tools, often providing the initial steps to drive improvements in aquaculture farming practices. However, these fully independent certification schemes also require continual monitoring and evaluation as new scientific evidence comes to light. In December 2019, WWF-Australia commissioned an independent report to examine the circumstances surrounding the ecological impacts of expanded aquaculture operations in Macquarie Harbour. The report confirms there are ways that aquaculture certification can and should be reformed, particularly to account for cumulative impacts of multiple farms. The report’s findings reinforce WWF-Australia’s submission and recommendations to the Tasmanian Upper House Enquiry on Fin Fish Farming in 2019. WWF-Australia will use this new independent report to continue to advocate for transformation in the aquaculture industry. Read the full statement and report here.


WWF-Australia today said Tasmania’s salmon producers are making substantial progress towards sustainable aquaculture in Australia, with two of the state’s largest producers, Tassal - who has a partnership with WWF - certified in 2014, and Petuna certified this month by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). 

ASC certification is the highest standard for responsibly farmed seafood in the world. It provides consumers with an independent assurance that they are purchasing seafood from farms that protect the environment and communities.

It was confirmed this month that Petuna achieved ASC certification for its farmed fish operation, while Tassal was the first company in the world to receive ASC certification across its entire salmon farm operation in 2014. Huon, another Tasmanian salmon producer, is currently undergoing detailed assessment by the ASC.  

WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said Tasmania has established itself as a global aquaculture leader, providing sustainable jobs for the future.

“If we’re serious about sustainably feeding a world population of 9 billion people by 2050, then aquaculture, properly practiced, will play a part."

“WWF supports the ASC as the body that has the most robust, transparent and independent system of assessment and certification to ensure the responsible farming of salmon", Mr O’Gorman said.

“Businesses must change the way they operate so that they can deliver sustainable aquaculture without causing further degradation to the environment."

“The rapid adoption of ASC standards by the Tasmanian salmon aquaculture industry is a major achievement for sustainable food production in Australia."

“WWF has had a partnership with Tassal since 2012 to work on improving the sustainability of salmon production."

“Tassal has led by example as the Tasmanian sector moves towards wide-scale adoption of the exacting standards of the ASC."

“We’ve seen real benefits across Tassal’s operations, including a reduction in negative impacts on seabirds, seals and other marine mammals, a reduction in the proportion of wild fish used in feeds, and increased transparency."

“The plans for significant industry expansion that are on the horizon present challenges."

“We call on all companies and government agencies, working with community groups, to build on this foundation to ensure that all aquaculture operations in Tasmania are fully ASC certified as soon as possible, and that any future expansion is held to the highest environmental standard.”

Note to editors:

More on WWF-Australia’s previous work with Tassal and sustainable salmon here.

More on the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) here.