The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) was launched in 2010 and we have been collecting data since the first farms achieved certification against our standards in 2012.
We rely on the quality of data gathered through our farm assessments, chain of custody assessments, information on the markets for ASC products and communications with partners and stakeholders. These data provide an important picture of ASC’s growth, the reach of environmentally and socially responsible seafood choices, and inform market opportunities. Aggregated data are often used by stakeholders in their own research and understanding on responsible farming practices.
As more farms join the ASC Programme and we continue to expand our scope, we will increase our reporting to demonstrate our impact and understand the change to which ASC and our farms are contributing.
Explore our interactive dashboard below to learn more about some of our outcomes to date. Use the filters provided to alter the outputs, which can be exported for use. The dashboard will be regularly updated.
Data maintained by the ASC Programme provide a picture of the growth and reach of ASC certified farm sites, production volume of ASC certified species and consumer facing products bearing the ASC logo.
Growth of ASC certification
The first Tilapia and Pangasius fish farms became ASC certified in 2012. With the development and implementation of new standards, now covering 17 species groups across 12 standards, the number of ASC certified farm sites and annual farm production volumes have been steadily increasing. The first seaweed farm achieved certification under the joint ASC-MSC standard in 2018, and in 2020, the first tropical marine finfish farms achieved ASC certification. Salmon species currently represent both the majority of ASC certified farm production volume and number of ASC certified farm sites.
Growth of ASC labelled products
Products bearing the ASC logo have been available to consumers since 2012. The ASC logo signals to consumers that those products are recognised as environmentally and socially responsible choices. The availability of in market (active) ASC labelled products to consumers has been rapidly increasing, both in number of products and distribution countries and can currently be found in any populated continent.
About the data
The data maintained by our programme are collected through several mechanisms. Third-party audits against ASC standards by conformity assessment bodies develop audit reports, which are shared publicly on our website. Producers provide data for these reports that detail species produced, numbers of farm sites within a Unit of Certification, harvested product volumes from the previous calendar year, and farm performance during that production cycle related to environmental and social indicators. Only data from final audit reports are applied. These data are used to verify farm compliance against the requirements within our standards and to monitor and evaluate our programme’s performance.
The certification volumes reported here represents the cumulative harvested production volume as reported to ASC in that month for all valid certificates (not monthly production volume). The total volume fluctuates from month to month as farms enter and leave the ASC Programme or adjustments from particular farm sites are received through surveillance audits.
Organisations within the supply chain that place ASC labels on their packaging adhere to the terms of logo license agreements. These agreements provide data on which product types are available across the various markets and when products are internal to the supply chain or consumer facing, and whether those products are active in the marketplace.
Product numbers are based on active (in market) consumer-facing (to the consumer available) products that bear the ASC label. ASC-MSC certified seaweed products are not presently represented in the product counts, but certified farm sites and production volumes for seaweed are included.
The naming conventions for countries displayed in the dashboards are according to ISO country codes.
Commonly used terms
- Certified Farm Sites – Throughout the data received by ASC we count farm sites, which is defined as a production facility owned or operated by an individual, company, or partnership that is included in the unit of certification. Sites represented in a group certification are counted as a single site.
- Unit of Certification (UoC) – UoCs are the operations covered by an ASC certificate. It includes all production or harvest sites such as production ponds, and all storage, transport, slaughter, or processing operations (including subcontracted operations) under control of the client up to the point where the product enters further into the chain of custody (CoC).
- Production Volume – The cumulative unprocessed harvested volume from the previous production year extracted from the most recent audit (or surveillance) report for each valid certificate. This is the volume that has been approved under an ASC certificate.
- Labelled product – A product type that is distinguished from other products and has been verified across the supply chain to bear the ASC logo. All ASC labelled products must carry a Chain of Custody (CoC) code for traceability purpose at the consumer end.
- Species eligible for certification (captured in data as “Certified species”) –Species which fall under the scope of any/all of ASC’s species-specific standards. These specific names are reported by certified UoCs as the species being produced. All certified species and products must comply to the stringent requirements and scope of the applicable ASC standard(s) for those production systems.
- Consumer facing (CF) – Products that are active in the marketplace and available to the consumer. It is on those CF products that the ASC logo can be found (See “labelled product”).
- ASC standards – This term is applied to describe activity across our standards. Our standards set strict requirements for responsible farming. The current eleven ASC standards cover 17 species groups: abalone; bivalves (clams, mussels, oyster, scallop); flatfish, freshwater trout; pangasius; salmon; seabass, seabream, meagre; seriola and cobia; shrimp; tilapia, and tropical marine finfish. There is also a joint ASC-MSC standard for seaweed.
- Tonnes – Volumes are reported in metric tons, referred to as tonnes (t), equal to 1,000 kilogrammes (1,000 kg).
Use of exported charts and data
Charts provided here may be exported as image and pdf files for use. Any references to the use of these charts and any data associated with this site should be attributed to ASC as follows:
ASC. [Year]. ASC Impacts Dashboard. [Date accessed]. Accessed online at: www.asc-aqua.org
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