Certified farmed tilapia is a taste of what’s to come | WWF
Certified farmed tilapia is a taste of what’s to come

Posted on 20 August 2012

Seafood farms in Indonesia belonging to Regal Springs are the first to have their production of farmed tilapia certified under the new Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard for responsibly farmed tilapia.
Seafood farms in Indonesia belonging to Regal Springs are the first to have their production of farmed tilapia certified under the new Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard for responsibly farmed tilapia.

“Positive changes are happening on the water that will ripple throughout the entire aquaculture industry,” said José Villalón, WWF’s Vice President of Aquaculture and Chairman of the ASC Board. “The launch of ASC-certified tilapia is just a taste of what’s to come for the aquaculture industry as more companies pursue responsible production of farmed seafood.”

ASC certified tilapia will be available in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, France, Belgium, Spain and Canada. More tilapia farms in Honduras, Taiwan, Ecuador and Malaysia have all formally announced that they will be audited; and following a positive outcome, the supply of certified ASC products will substantially increase.

Major impacts on the world’s oceans

Almost half of the seafood we eat comes from farms. And seafood farming—also known as aquaculture—is the fastest growing food production system in the world. The rapid expansion of the aquaculture industry has not come without impacts. As a conservation organization, WWF is concerned about the negative effects the industry has had— and could continue to have—on the environment and society.

With wild fisheries fished largely to their maximum capacity, or even beyond, most additional demand for seafood will need to come from farmed sources. If managed correctly, the aquaculture industry can be part of the solution to feeding nine billion people by 2050. WWF sees great potential in working with this growing industry to raise seafood with minimal impact on people and natural ecosystems, satisfying a growing demand for seafood and at the same time taking pressure of wild fisheries.

Improving farmed seafood practices

WWF is committed to leading the aquaculture industry toward efficiency and environmental sustainability. To help advance responsible farmed seafood production, WWF initiated and coordinated eight Aquaculture Dialogues. Through these roundtables, we have worked with farmers, retailers, non-governmental organizations, scientists and other industry stakeholders worldwide to develop responsible aquaculture standards for twelve farmed seafood species.

With the completion of the standards setting process, WWF has now transitioned its focus to helping seafood farmers improve their farming practices through Aquaculture Improvement Projects. These projects focus on helping farmers understand the ASC standards, make the changes in their production protocols to become compliant, and independently pursue ASC certification.

By working with farmers across the world on a range of species—including pangasius, shrimp, salmon, and tilapia—WWF is helping to ensure that consumers have the best environmental and social choice when shopping at their local seafood market or dining at their favorite restaurant. 

You can support this effort by clicking here and pledging to buy only farmed seafood that is certified as responsible by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) as well as urge stores and restaurants to carry ASC-certified farmed seafood. 
ASC certified tilapia will be available in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, France, Belgium, Spain and Canada.
© Regal Springs Tilapia
Seafood farming—also known as aquaculture—is the fastest growing food production system in the world. It is hoped that following audits in tilapia farms in Honduras, Taiwan, Ecuador and Malaysia, the supply of certified ASC products will substantially increase.
© Regal Springs Tilapia