Ten years ago, Regal Springs’ Lake Toba tilapia farm in Sumatra, Indonesia was the world’s first fish farm to earn ASC certification. In the past decade, more than 1,700 aquaculture farms around the world have met the ASC standard to become ASC certified. This currently represents nearly 2.5 million tonnes of seafood and seaweed harvested per year.
Today, Regal Springs’ Lake Toba tilapia farm is still ASC certified, along with more of their tilapia farm sites in Honduras and Mexico. “At Regal Springs we are very proud to have been a pioneer here,” said Petra Weigl, Regal Springs’ managing director for Europe. “And we naturally extended the certification we started in Indonesia to Honduras and Mexico.”
“ASC certification brings us a host of benefits — well-organized data, which we share transparently through ASC audits and reporting; improved traceability, from feed to harvest, with the coming ASC Feed Standard that will drive even more improvements in feed sourcing at our farms; and continued improvements in social responsibility internally and with external parties,” Rudolf Hoeffelman, managing director Regal Springs Indonesia, added. “Overall, ASC certification helps us communicate our sustainability and best practices to our stakeholders and customers in an organized and clear way.”
The tilapia farm’s certification came two years after ASC’s initial founding. At the time, only two types of farms could be ASC certified – tilapia and pangasius. As of 2022, there are now ASC standards for 11 species groups, meaning that farms harvesting these species can aim for ASC certification. These species groups include abalone; bivalves (clams, mussels, oyster, scallop); flatfish; freshwater trout; pangasius; salmon; seabass, seabream and meagre; seriola and cobia; shrimp; tilapia; and tropical marine finfish. There is also a joint ASC-MSC standard for all kinds of seaweed.
Chris Ninnes, CEO ASC, said that “every journey begins with a single step. August 15 was an important milestone in our journey of transforming the aquaculture industry. When the first farm in Indonesia was certified back in 2012, it sent out a ripple effect to all stakeholders from farmer to producers to markets around the world. We are happy to see this shift towards responsible aquaculture and this strengthens our commitment to scale up our impact massively over the next 10 years.”