ARCTIC Fish has become the first aquaculture producer to achieve Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification in Iceland.
The Dyrafjordur and Önundafjordur farms, both part of Arctic Fish’s sea farm operations on the Westfjords, a large peninsula in north western Iceland, are certified to produce ASC rainbow trout. The on-site assessment was conducted by SCS Global Services, an independent, third-party certification company.
‘Iceland is still a small player in sea farming on an international scale, with only 4,000 tonnes harvested last year of salmon and trout; this is expected to more than double this year mainly from the Westfjords,’ said Sigurður Pétursson CEO of Arctic Fish.
‘There is good potential for future growth and a good environment in Iceland for sustainable and eco-friendly farming methods.
‘ASC certification helps our small farming operation to get international recognition which we expect to assist us in the marketing of our nice products.
‘We are very pleased to have the ASC certification and I am proud of my staff for all the preparation and work they have put into the certification process.’
Chris Ninnes (pictured), CEO of the ASC, said: ‘It is a pleasure to welcome Arctic Fish to the ASC programme.
‘The certification of the first farm in Iceland is a great example of how producers are meeting the increased market demand for ASC certified products around the world.
‘Aquaculture is the fastest growing sector of food production and is integral to global food security.
‘As demand for farmed fish continues to rise, it is increasingly important that producers operate at a level that minimises impacts to the environment, provides fair and proper conditions for those who work on the farms, and that is considerate of the people in the communities where the farms are situated.
‘By becoming ASC certified, Arctic Fish has committed to doing just that. This achievement sets them apart as leaders in their country and in the larger effort to improve the industry.’
Arctic Fish was established in 2011 and initially started with a single sea site for trout. Over time, it has grown into an operation covering every aspect of fish farming.
In addition to increasing sea farming operations under its subsidiary Arctic Sea Farm, the company operates Arctic Smolt, a recirculation hatchery, and Arctic Oddi, a processing facility for the fish nurtured in the Westfjords of Iceland.
The company uses naturally occurring warm springs in its hatchery and green electrical energy.
Iceland’s ecosystem confers a great number of advantages at the farm site, including a natural inhibition of viral diseases and most pests, and Arctic Fish does not use any antibiotics during its production.
Participation in the ASC scheme worldwide has grown nearly 98 per cent each year since it was set up in 2012. There are currently ASC certified farms in 29 countries and more than 5,000 consumer products available for purchase.