Whiteleg shrimp. (Photo: Stock File)
First ASIC verified shrimp enters US market
Thursday, July 12, 2018, 22:50 (GMT + 9)
The first whiteleg shrimp sourced from Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative (ASIC) verified Thai farms is entering the markets in the United States.
Health-driven restaurant True Food Kitchen, who prides itself on offering high quality, sustainably sourced ingredients, is one of the first buyers from the US to partner ASIC in order to buy shromp from responsible sources.
“ASIC shrimp checks all of the boxes for our priorities,” stated Taylor Domet, Director of Culinary Standards at True Food Kitchen.
For her part, Rosanna Contreras, ASIC Chair, explained that ASIC Shrimp Level 1 verified farms are equivalent to a Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch®️ program “Good Alternative” recommendation.
In addition, she highlighted that ASIC is the first improvement program that is built by stakeholders from the Southeast Asian region, which fosters greater change and stewardship.
“Environmental and social well-being are closely linked. ASIC shrimp reflects that relationship between livelihoods and sustainability,” pointed out Wendy Norden, Seafood Watch Science Director.
Shrimp is one of America’s favorite seafoods with the majority of shrimp found in US markets imported from farms overseas.
Roxanne Nanninga, Sustainability Director, Thai Union North America stated, “We are excited to be bringing the first ASIC shrimp to the US market. We plan to continue to grow and develop the farms taking part in this innovative program.”
In the coming year, ASIC plans to organize visits to their farms in Southeast Asia for engaged buyers and chefs to further educate on the importance of sourcing ingredients from responsible supply chains.
The ASIC is a burgeoning regional collaboration among stakeholders from Southeast Asia who develop their own methods for improving aquaculture practices using existing regional standards in conjunction with key elements of the Seafood Watch aquaculture sustainability standard to build a graduated development plan.
The program is the result of 4 years of work with over 10 stakeholder meetings that worked primarily with Asian stakeholders to define the standards for social and environmental improvement of the shrimp industry. The work has been supported by USAID, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Santa Monica Seafood.
While international certification standards for fisheries and aquaculture as well as commitments by international seafood buyers to source responsible seafood already exist, ASIC is expanding the adoption of sustainability standards and incentives for both supplier and buyer.