A world’s first for Mowi Canada West salmon farms in B.C.

Three salmon farms, audited against 500 separate aspects of their performance, get the gold standard in environmental certification.

By SeaWestNews

Mowi Canada West has become the world’s first aquaculture company to successfully achieve certification under the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) multi-site certification methodology.

Independent third-party auditors have certified three Klemtu area salmon farms in British Columbia to the ASC Salmon Standard, the company said in a statement.

Mowi Canada West now has 23 salmon farms in B.C. certified to the ASC Salmon Standard, representing about 75% of the company’s production.

This standard was developed with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and is an independent, third party organization which receives no money from the certification process.

“I am proud of our salmon farmers and certification team for this achievement, which confirms our leading environmental performance” said Dr. Diane Morrison, Mowi Canada West Managing Director (pictured).

“Achieving the ASC certification for our farms demonstrates our commitment to social and environmental sustainability and to transparency in our practices”.

The ASC’s Salmon Standard has been recognised by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI), a seafood certification industry benchmark.

The GSSI benchmark, based on the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) guidelines for the ecolabelling of seafood, requires producers to demonstrate responsible aquaculture to minimise both environmental and social impacts, and requires an unprecedented level of transparency and traceability.

The three Mowi Canada West sites recently certified through the multi-site methodology are located in Alexander Inlet, Goat Cove and Kid Bay. These salmon farms operate in the Traditional Territory of the Kitasoo Xai’Xais First Nation. Mowi and the Kitasoo have had an agreement for salmon farming and processing for the past 20 years.

To achieve certification under the ASC Salmon Standard, farms are audited against 500 separate aspects of the sites performance.  It is considered to be the gold standard in environmental certification and was developed through a dialogue process involving Environmental NGOs and researchers.

Mowi Canada West, which operates salmon farms and processing plants in British Columbia, Canada employing about 600 people, is working towards the goal of 100 per cent certification to the ASC Standard across all its sites by 2020.

In British Columbia, every salmon farm holds at least one third-party certification or recommendation. Certification vary by company, but most include stringent third-party audits and public disclosure of audit findings. B.C. Atlantic salmon farmers have committed to being the first region to be 100 per cent ASC certified by 2020.

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