Scottish Sea Farms has been awarded Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for the first time in Orkney. After recently gaining the coveted accreditation on the west coast of Scotland.
Thereby, Lober Rock underwent a series of audits to meet the stringent ASC criteria. It is located at the south-easterly corner of Scapa Flow,
“Do it quite flawlessly, is a fantastic achievement for the farm team. It also fuels appetite across the region to see more Orkney farms work towards, and achieve, certification,” Orkney Regional Manager Duane Coetzer said.
So, farms are independently audited and assessed against seven core principles. Covering regulatory compliance, fish health, responsible use of feed and medicines, environmental interactions, employee conditions, and community engagement.
Also, the ASC insists that the farm’s suppliers meet its standards. From feed to nets, and from boats to divers.
According to Scottish Sea Farms, Lober Rock, which became operational just three years ago, has had an excellent start. In more detail, with 91% superior grade fish and a survival rate of 88% for its first generation.
Regarding this, Scottish Sea Farms Aquaculture Technical Lead for ASC, Anna Price, added: “Having produced a really strong first generation of fish, Lober Rock was an obvious contender to be put forward for ASC certification.”
Two more farms as a challenge
In addition, she noted: “The aim is now to have at least another two farms in the region accredited within the next 12 months. Along with our wider farming estate. Because the more we go through the certification process, the more we learn and the greater the opportunities for real and positive change across the company.”
On the other hand, Lober Rock Farm Manager Andrew Park stated: “Our priority now is to stay vigilant on the core task of keeping our fish in the best health. While doing everything we can to protect the local environment in which we farm. Continue to achieve both of those and I’m confident we’ll maintain our ASC certified status for years to come.”
Finally, Coetzer recalled: “We need everybody to buy into what we’re trying to achieve as a company and as a farm, which is doing our best for the livestock. If you look at the standards in the ASC, that is what they are trying to achieve too.”
“I think it’s important that our farms put in the extra work to uphold and adhere to the standard. Because ASC is helping us as a sector, not just as a business, in improving our standards and our working behaviors,” he concluded.