CHINA:Tilapia farm Qionghai Zhongpingzi Grobest and Chengmai Xingyuan Development Co Ltd have become the first Chinese farms to achieve Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification, reflecting the pioneering initiative and efforts of a few farms in the industry to tackle some of the major challenges facing tilapia farming in China.
The announcement was welcomed at the Sustainable Seafood Forum in Qingdao, attended by government officials, seafood industry representatives, NGOs and the media.
“We are pleased that Qionghai Zhongpingzi Grobest has passed the assessment against the ASC Tilapia Standard. ASC certification allows us to prove to our customers that we are committed to responsible aquaculture,” pointed out Yang Huaying, Deputy Executive Director Hainan Sky-Blue Ocean Foods Co. Ltd.
The pre-assessment processes were conducted with help from WWF China to see if the firms operated in a way that meets the ASC Tilapia Standard.
“The farms were subject to scrutiny by a team of independent experts, which assessed them against the strict requirements of the ASC Tilapia Standard. This is a major milestone and they should be immensely proud of their achievements,” highlighted Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO.
A third tilapia farm, Wenchang Zhou Qinfu, has been assessed against the ASC standard and hopes to be certified soon.
Achieving ASC certification brings global recognition that Qionghai Zhongpingzi Grobest tilapia farm and Chengmai Xingyuan Development Co. Ltd are operating in a responsible way. It marks the start of their contribution towards a global market for responsibly produced seafood.
“For us it is important be able to show through a third party that our ambitions towards responsible tilapia farming have been achieved. The ASC certification of Chengmai Xingyuan Development Co. Ltd helps us communicate this to our stakeholders,” stressed Liu Rongjie, President Xiangtai Fisheries Co. Ltd.
Making progress towards a more environmentally sustainable and socially responsible tilapia sector in the Chinese aquaculture industry has been achieved through a partnership between ASC, the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA) and WWF China. As a result the industry has begun to make real strides in improving the transparency of Chinese tilapia aquaculture.
For his part, Dr Cui He, Executive Vice President, CAPPMA, said: “I would like to congratulate the Qionghai Zhongpingzi Grobest and Chengmai Xingyuan Development Co. Ltd for becoming the first tilapia farms in China to meet the rigorous requirements of the ASC Tilapia Standard. CAPPMA has been diligently working with ASC and WWF China to promote responsible aquaculture in China. This is a major step towards responsible aquaculture in this important market.”