ASC reports its achievements toward responsible aquaculture

The 2021 report shows advances in ASC certification’s accessibility, the maintenance of existing markets, and the expansion to new ones.

November 3, 2022

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s (ASC) first Annual Report Transforming Aquaculture summarizes all the aspects of the company’s activity during 2021 from the number of certifications delivered by ASC to both farms and seafood products to the evaluation of Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) and traceability assurance services.

“We are proud to publish the first Annual Report which celebrates not only the growing recognition for responsible aquaculture around the world but also reaffirms our commitment towards continued progress,” said Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO. “While 2021 challenged ASC’s innovation to continue promoting our program and ASC-labeled products we found new ways to reach our audiences, drive improvements to our systems and invest in our organization.”

“Through ASC’s first Annual Report, we hope to provide a clear picture of ASC’s growth and development over the years, as well as assess our impacts and contributions towards responsible aquaculture,” said Jill Swasey, ASC’s head of impacts.

Operating in eleven species-specific farm standards and an ASC-MSC seaweed standard, there are 2,000 ACS-certified farm sites covering 49 species in the world. In 2021, the number of certified farms increased by 20% compared to 2020, increasing the volume of ACS-certificated seafood products to over 2.5 million tonnes.

ASC-certified products grew by 10% compared to 2020, bringing over 20,000 ASC-labelled products to consumers, with over 275,000 tonnes sold. Despite demand rising for trout, seabass, and seabream with a strong interest in ASC-labelled products in Southern Europe and an increased uptake of key species to the US and the UK, global retail markets continued to prefer salmon and shrimp, which account for 70% of ASC-labelled product weight.

In 2021, ASC conducted public consultations on its programs to improve companies’ participation across four of its certification programs obtaining feedback from over 300 stakeholders from thirty-five countries.