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Mowi, the world’s largest publicly-listed salmon farmer, is placing efforts into re-certifying its Mefaldskjaeret Farm in northern Norway after the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) suspended the certification over mass escapes.
“We certified our sites towards ASC knowing that this is the strictest environmental standard available,” Mowi Director of Communications Ola Helge Hjetland told IntraFish.
“We appreciate that not acting in accordance with the standard has consequences and will work hard to re-certify the site.”
Mowi’s certification was withdrawn after an investigation by an independent ‘Conformity Assessment Body’ (CAB) — in this case Bureau Veritas Denmark — found that an escape was not out of the control of the farm and was therefore a breach of the ASC Salmon Standard.
More than 2,500 farmed salmon escaped Mowi’s site in Alstadhaug municipality on December 2019 due to major tears in five nets.
“Mowi has strict procedures and an extensive training program to prevent escapes, but we acknowledge that we have some way to go before we reach our goal of zero escapes,” Hjetland said.
Blumar was also penalised for its mass escape on June 28 at its Caicura 149 Farm in the Los Lagos region of Chile by another CAB, Control Union Peru, who made the judgement on July 3.
While a farm is suspended, product from that farm cannot be sold as ASC-certified.
“To ensure minimal impact on the environment, no more than 300 fish may escape from an ASC certified farm in any one production cycle, farms must make information on all escapes publicly available, and use effective and accurate monitoring systems,” states ASC