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MSC and ASC working on a global seaweed standard

1 March 2016  •  Author(s): Victoria White

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) are working together to create a joint global standard for certifying seaweed operations.

seaweed standard

The collaboration offers the unique opportunity to build on the expertise of the two leading seafood certification and labelling programmes. The Seaweed Standard will contribute to the health of the world’s aquatic ecosystems by promoting environmentally sustainable and socially responsible use of seaweed resources.

With seaweed production increasing alongside demand for certification, the MSC and ASC recognise the importance of having a global standard that rewards environmentally sustainable and socially responsible seaweed production, and provides a benchmark for improvement.

Commenting on the new standard, David Agnew, Science and Standards Director of the MSC, said: “The Seaweed Standard will demonstrate mutual sustainability principles and standard systems, referencing best available scientific understanding and industry practices that conform to international norms of good conduct, including FAO Guidelines for Ecolabelling andISEAL Codes of Good Practice.“

Bas Geerts, Standards Director for ASC, added: “A responsible approach is critical to minimising the environmental and social footprint of commercial seaweed production. Through collaboration we can create a meaningful standard with value for all stakeholders, while promoting environmental integrity and supporting the local communities that rely on seaweed production.”  

From today, interested parties are invited to view the proposed Seaweed Standard and certification process, and share their expertise and feedback through an online consultation open until 30 April 2016.

The standard will allow certification from both wild harvest and farmed seaweed, regardless of the scale or location of the operation. The MSC and ASC say the assessment of seaweed farms and fisheries will be guided by five core principles: sustainable populations; minimising environmental impacts; effective management; social responsibility; and community relations and interactions.

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