The Australia chapter of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has assured consumers that the salmon farms it has certified in Tasmania are all compliant to local and federal laws covering environmental and social standards.
The expression of assurance came in response to the recent release of Toxic, a new book by author Richard Flanagan. In his book, Mr Flanagan claims that the Tasmanian salmon industry as a whole has spent years engaging in unsafe and unethical farming practices that were in stark contrast to what it had always presented to the public.
Duncan Leadbitter, ASC’s head in Australia, refuted Mr Flanagan’s allegation that all salmon farming companies in Tasmania were guilty of such offences, adding that ASC-certified farms in the state have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate to independent third party auditors their compliance to strict environmental and ethical standards.
Mr Leadbitter said further that although the ASC agrees with the author’s statements that fish farming does indeed have an impact on the environment, responsible management of this and other activities related to food production is the key to maintaining balance that will eventually benefit the environment as well as consumers.
He added that the ASC program disregards “general or blanket statements” and instead relies on evidence-based science to guide its policies on sustainable aquaculture practices and on certifying fish farms whose products are proven to be safe for consumption.
Published since 1978, Ausmarine is the foremost magazine servicing the Australian and New Zealand commercial, military and government marine sectors.