Aquaculture Stewardship Council

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The Aquaculture Stewardship Council which was announced in January 2009 as a project which is being established by WWF with the intention that it be modelled on the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).[1]

In January 2009 WWF announced that it was "funding the development of a business plan for this new venture, which is expected to be in operation within two years, and will contribute funding to implement the plan ... Over the next year, draft standards for minimising the key environmental and social impacts associated with aquaculture will be completed for nine aquaculture species that have the greatest impact on the environment, highest market value and/or the heaviest trading in the global market. They are salmon, shrimp, trout, pangasius, abalone, mussels, clams, oysters and scallops. Draft standards for tilapia were posted for public comment in September 2008 and are expected to be completed this spring."[2]

Proposal Condemned

A coalition of groups condemned WWF's move to establish the ASC. "We see the ASC as yet another attempt by a Big International NGO to formulate some ill-conceived plan to remedy the problems of unsustainable industrial shrimp farming. These kinds of remedies do not involve the local communities and grassroots movements in the process of defining steps to be taken, and therefore exclude those peoples most affected by the industry’s ongoing assaults as readily evidenced in such locations as Lampung, Indonesia or Muisne, Ecuador, in Khulna, Bangladesh or Choluteca, Honduras," wrote Alfredo Quarto, from the Mangrove Action Project, USA; Natasha Ahmad from the Asia Solidarity Against Industrial Aquaculture (ASIA), Bangladesh; Abdoulaye Diamé from the African Mangrove Network; Juan Jose Lopez from the RedManglar Internacional, Colombia; and Maurizio Farhan Ferrari from the Forest Peoples Programme, UK.[3]

"We demand that WWF halt this initiative to form the ASC and immediately initiate real and meaningful dialogues with affected communities, not just with industry and a few NGOs and academics," they stated.[3]

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