Seafood Of India

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Welcome to India's first Exclusive Seafood Portal

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Sustainable Seafood Certifier ASC Exits China, Raising Concerns About Industry Practices

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), a leading organization promoting responsible fish farming practices, is pulling out of China. This move comes amidst growing scrutiny of seafood certification bodies and concerns about ethical and sustainable practices in the industry, particularly in Asia.

Strategic Retreat or Deeper Issues?

The ASC announced their decision after an 18-month review, stating they will “phase out program operations and cease investment” in China. While the organization emphasizes a desire to focus resources on areas with greater impact, the lack of detailed explanation has sparked speculation.

Limited Transparency and Remaining Concerns

ASC currently certifies only 30 farms in China, primarily bivalve and tilapia producers. This stands in stark contrast to their competitor, the Global Seafood Alliance (GSA), which has a larger presence in the country. The GSA, in a recent newsletter, reiterated their commitment to all regions, suggesting a difference in approach to tackling challenges in the Chinese market.

Industry-Wide Scrutiny:

This news coincides with recent media investigations highlighting lapses in seafood supply chain oversight. Both ASC and GSA are currently investigating allegations of worker mistreatment and food safety violations in India’s shrimp processing industry.

The Future of Sustainable Aquaculture:

The ASC’s exit from China raises questions about the effectiveness of certification programs in ensuring ethical and sustainable aquaculture practices. Increased transparency, stricter enforcement measures, and collaboration within the industry are likely to be crucial in rebuilding consumer trust and ensuring the responsible growth of the aquaculture sector.

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