Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Certification Process Initiated for the Chanduy and Pañamao Shrimp Farms

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is an independent non-profit organization that was founded in 2010 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) to manage the global standards for responsible aquaculture.

The mission of the ASC is to transform aquaculture, with a view to sustainability and social responsibility, through efficient market mechanisms that generate greater worth throughout the value chain.

Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila S.A., conscious of its responsibility to take care of the environment and the social conditions of its workers and immediate surroundings, initiated the process of obtaining the widely-recognized Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for its Chanduy and Pañamao shrimp farms, located on the Ecuadorian coastline in the areas of San Antonio and El Rosario in the province of Santa Elena.These two shrimp farms will be among the first in Ecuador to obtain the ASC certification for shrimp farms.

ASC certified shrimp farms limit their impact on the environment from the effects of water pollution, the use of chemicals and antibiotics and the escape of farmed shrimp. They also adhere to guidelines that promote the social conditions of workers and local communities.

It should be noted that, while the ASC manages the standard and the certification process, they do not certify the farms themselves; this is done by independent qualified bodies. Therefore, these two shrimp farms were visited by two auditors from the Control Union Peru SAC certification body from November 17th to 19th, 2014.

As part of the above-mentioned audit, lead auditor Efraín Calderón and biologist Martha Marín visited various areas of the shrimp farms and met with several members of the workforce with the aim of verifying each one of the ASC standard's criteria.

In addition to the audit of the shrimp farms, an audit was also carried out at the two IPSP processing plants (packing plants) on November 20th. The purpose of this audit was to complement the certification of the shrimp farms with compliance of the Chain of Custody Standard for the processing plants. The Chain of Custody Standard contains a set of technical and administrative requirements for the processing and handling of certified sustainable products at every stage of the supply chain.

Chain of Custody certification assures that ASC certified seafood has indeed originated from a farmer certified against the ASC Standard. For its Chain of Custody Standard the ASC works together with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), whereby the specific ASC Chain of Custody requirements have been added as an annex to the MSC Chain of Custody Standard.

It is expected that official ASC certification for the Chanduy and Pañamao shrimp farms, along with chain of custody certification, be granted in February of this year.