Chris Ninnes, CEO, Aquaculture Stewardship Council
The future of food production will depend heavily on attaining a responsible aquaculture that treats human and environmental health with equal care. Chris Ninnes, CEO of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, explains the benefits of non-governmental certification in the sector
What role will aquaculture play in the future of food production? How can negative environmental impacts be minimised?
Aquaculture is currently the fastest growing food production system in the world. However, as the sector expands so does its footprint on the environment and society. Customers buying fish increasingly demand to know whether the seafood they buy and eat is harmful to the environment or local communities. Voluntary certification schemes help the best performers distinguish themselves from the average, and programmes such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)’s recognise and promote the sale of certified farmed fish through the use of an on-pack logo. This creates incentives for other producers to make the changes necessary to achieve the ASC standard.
As the demand for seafood grows, so too does the pressure on producers to reduce their environmental and social impacts. We can therefore make a difference by using market forces to transform aquaculture by reducing the key negative social and environmental impacts of aquaculture through compliance with ASC’s standards at farm level. We are not alone in seeking these transformations: many NGOs, industry associations, other certification programmes and governments are all committed to the same outcome. ASC is an additional tool to help with this work.
This is an excerpt from a longer discussion published in International Innovation. To access the interview in full, go to: http://www.research-europe.com/magazine/ENVIRONMENT/ENV20/index.html