With seaweed production increasing along with demand for certification the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is collaborating with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) to create a joint global standard for certifying seaweed operations.
The Seaweed Standard aims to contribute to the health of the world’s aquatic ecosystems by promoting environmentally sustainable and locally responsible use of seaweed resources.
The organizations say they recognize the importance of having a global standard that rewards environmentally sustainable and socially responsible seaweed production, and provides a benchmark for improvement.
“The Seaweed Standard will demonstrate mutual sustainability principles and standard systems, referencing best available scientific understanding and industry practices that conform to international norms of good conduct, including FAO Guidelines for Eco labelling and ISEAL Codes of Good Practice,” said David Agnew, science and standards director of the MSC.
Added Bas Geerts, standards director for the ASC: “A responsible approach is critical to minimizing the environmental and social footprint of commercial seaweed production. Through collaboration we can create a meaningful standard with value for all stakeholders, while promoting environmental integrity and supporting the local communities that rely on seaweed production.”
Both wild harvest and farmed seaweed, regardless of the operation’s scale or location will be considered for certification. The assessment of seaweed farms and fisheries will be guided by five core principles: sustainable populations; minimizing environmental impacts; effective management; social responsibility; and community relations and interactions.
Interested parties are invited to view the proposed Seaweed Standard and certification process and share their expertise and feedback through an online consultation open until 30 April 2016.