3 Apr 2017


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 has welcomed the news that Huon Aquaculture has achieved Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for the first time – at its Storm Bay salmon farm.

WWF regards the independent standards set by the ASC for the responsible farming of seafood as the best available in the world.

With Tassal achieving ASC certification for all its sites at the end of 2014, and Petuna achieving the same in September of 2016, this is an important milestone for Huon and for Australia’s three salmon farming companies.

WWF-Australia Fisheries and Seafood Manager Jo-Anne McCrea said, “This is an important step forward for Huon Aquaculture on its journey towards sustainability”

“Over 60% of Tasmania’s total salmon production now meets the ASC’s stringent criteria, and we believe the Tasmanian salmon industry can achieve 100% ASC certification in coming years.”

As is typical for all companies reaching ASC, this has only been possible aft real and tangible improvement. For example, for Huon to meet the standard it has had to improve the frequency and accuracy of public reporting on interactions with wildlife like birds and seals, and implemented improvements in its complaint handling procedures.

ASC certification focuses on individual farming sites, and therefore needs to work side by side with the strong government monitoring and regulation of the cumulative impacts of different farm sites and farm companies.

In January 2017, a report by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) commissioned by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) showed a concerning level of environmental impact in salmon farming sites, including ASC-certified sites. So while the ASC standard is the highest standard available, overall standards and regulation of the area can and should be improved. WWF are committed to working with the ASC and important stakeholders in Tasmania to ensure that these improvements happen. “This process of improvement is important,” McCrea continued, “as Tasmanian’s deserve and expect that those using the marine environment are meeting the highest global standard available and the marine assets are being responsibly managed.”

WWF is committed to working with government, industry and community stakeholders to ensure that cumulative impacts are addressed, and that Tasmania’s salmon industry operates responsibly and maintains a healthy marine environment.

Further Information:

Jo-Anne McCrea, Australian Seafood and Fisheries Manager, WWF-Australia.

Contact via WWF Senior Manager, Media; Paul Kruger: 0407 067 303, pkruger@wwf.org.au