15 Feb 2019


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. 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 is expanding its approach to sustainable aquaculture and marine conservation in Tasmania by deepening its engagement with aquaculture companies, government, scientists and stakeholders.

Over the next two years, WWF plans to work with industry, leading scientists, environmental groups and government to help secure:

  • A government commitment to enhanced marine spatial planning and protection that better accounts for all marine and coastal values and users;
  • 100% certification of Tasmanian salmon production against the highest global standard for sustainable fish farming (the Aquaculture Stewardship Council or ASC), while also strengthening the standard to reflect Tasmanian conditions*;
  • More effective and transparent regulation of aquaculture, including more public disclosure of the environmental impacts of aquaculture; together with science-based limits on salmon farming to protect sensitive ecosystems and vulnerable species, notably in Macquarie Harbour.

By working across all stakeholders we hope to inspire collaboration, consensus and a pre-competitive pursuit of the world’s most sustainable farmed salmon. 

WWF-Australia has a strong track record of helping to improve aquaculture in Tasmania. Our partnership with Tassal, which ran from March 2012 to November 2018, led to Tassal becoming the first salmon company in Australia to achieve ASC certification for a farm site, and the first company globally to achieve this standard across its operations. 

Our partnership with Tassal also enabled WWF-Australia to support Traditional Owners in Queensland to monitor seagrass, a James Cook University study of snubfin dolphins along the Great Barrier Reef, and a project in Peru to improve sustainable fishery practices.

WWF-Australia is excited about our whole of industry approach and looks forward to collaborative successes for Tasmania’s precious marine environment and sustainable industries.