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Chilean salmon producer steps up ambitious ASC commitment

Salmonids Health Environment +2 more

Salmones Blumar has announced it has completed its plan to enter all of its production sites into aquaculture improvement projects and, ultimately, earn 100% certification of all their salmon farms to the rigorous Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification.

The Chilean firm has been working with WWF since October 2016 to develop this plan and one of the key issues that it aims to address is reducing antibiotic and chemical use through improved area-based management and exploring non-pharmacological alternatives to tackle the frequent bacterial outbreaks and high levels of sea lice in the region. The company will also need to secure long-term sources of responsibly produced feeds, collaborate with scientists to investigate the risks of the establishment of non-native species under production, and consider special measures to protect areas with a high conservation value.

They will also be one of the first Chilean companies to trial WWF’s Social Toolkit, specifically developed to help cultivate the industry’s relationship with communities to be more aligned with the ASC’s social requirements.

"WWF-Chile is working to raise the standard of the Chilean industry, insisting that they urgently tackle key issues, such as antibiotic and chemical use, ecological carrying capacities, and on a broader scale to coordinate on the development a network of marine protected areas. Blumar’s agreement shows a serious commitment to ASC and reinforces their work on these important issues," said Ricardo Bosshard, director of WWF Chile.

“This important work reinforces our company’s commitment to achieving the ASC standard at all of our sites as well as engaging other industry members, government and stakeholders like WWF to work together and make progress on some of the key sustainability challenges for salmon farming in Chile,” said Gerardo Balbontín, CEO of Blumar.

"We are thrilled to see continued progress, commitment and momentum toward ASC in Chile from Blumar. The increasing demand for seafood that has been raised responsibly, in a manner that protects the environment and those who work on and near the farm, has made the ASC certification the scheme of choice and a key component of ensuring a fully traceable and trusted source of fish in the future," added Chris Ninnes, CEO of ASC.