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Seafood Watch Upgrades recommendation of ASC-Certified Farmed Salmon to 'Good Alternative'


The update, issued today by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, demonstrates the significant increase in the availability of responsibly produced farmed salmon.

Seattle, USA – June 5, 2017, 08:00 PT: In an update to its Seafood Watch standards, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has today announced that farmed salmon, certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), have advanced in their seafood ranking to a ‘Good Alternative’. The updated recommendation recognizes that ASC-certified farmed salmon aligns with many of the Seafood Watch’s guiding principles for responsible seafood production, and moves ASC-certified farmed salmon onto the program’s recommended list of seafood for consumers to buy.

This updated recommendation will significantly increase the availability of responsibly produced farmed salmon in retail stores and restaurants, making it much easier for consumers to make an informed decision over the seafood they purchase.

“Producers that have met the ASC Salmon Standard have been comprehensively and independently audited to ensure they meet the highest assurance levels for responsible production and have demonstrated they care for their workers and communities. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch recommendation that consumers buy ASC-certified salmon further demonstrates the growing collaboration and synergy between the programs to promote the purchasing of responsibly farmed seafood,” said Chris Ninnes, CEO of ASC. “When consumers purchase ASC-certified seafood, they can feel confident they have selected fish from farms that are certified to the highest social and environmental standard.”

The ASC standard is the world’s leading certification program for responsibly farmed seafood. All farms certified to the ASC Salmon Standard must meet a total of 154 performance criteria and 521 compliance criteria, thereby showing they deliver real environmental and social benefits.

“Farmed salmon has long been an excellent protein choice for consumers,” said Gerardo Balbontin, Co-Chair of the GSI and CEO of Blumar Seafoods. “It is healthy, nutritious and packed full of protein. But now, following the comprehensive ASC standard certification process, we are also able to document the environmental and social performance of our industry. For customers looking for the gold standard in seafood, they know that when they purchase farmed salmon recommended by the Seafood Watch program, and the ASC, they are making the right choice in choosing seafood that is produced to the highest standards.”

At present, nearly a quarter of all famed salmon produced globally is ASC certified, and members of the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) are the main sources of ASC-certified farmed salmon, worldwide producing over 350,000 tonnes of the product in 2016. The GSI is a collective of the leading global salmon farming companies that have made it their target to be 100% ASC certified by 2020.

“The members of the GSI are making excellent progress towards their ASC commitment,” added Avrim Lazar, Convenor of the GSI. “And through this harmonization of the two highest environmental standards, coupled with rapidly increasing supply, we hope to see even more commitment to ASC products from the market place.”

To learn more about the Seafood Watch program, please visit:

To learn more about the ASC, please visit:


The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) is a leadership initiative established in 2013 by global farmed salmon producers focused on making significant progress on industry sustainability. Today, GSI comprises 13 companies – representing approximately 50% of the global salmon production industry – that are fully committed to realizing a shared goal of providing a highly sustainable source of healthy food to feed a growing global population, whilst minimizing our environmental footprint, and continuing to improve our social contribution.

GSI member companies are Australis S.A, Bakkafrost; Blumar; Cermaq; Compañía Pesquera Camanchaca; Empresas AquaChile; Grieg Seafood ASA; Huon Aquaculture; Los Fiordos; Marine Harvest; Multiexport Foods S.A.; New Zealand King Salmon; and Ventisqueros. GSI companies have a presence in Australia, Canada, Chile, the Faroe Islands, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK, and make significant contributions to the economies of these respective countries.

In addition, the GSI also has a number of Associate Members in both the pharmaceutical and feed industries, including Benchmark Holdings plc; BioMar; Cargill; Elanco; Merck, Sharpe and Dohme (MSD) Animal Health; PHARMAQ; Salmofood; and Skretting.

For further information on the GSI, please visit or contact us at:

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