ASC joins fight against plas­tic

Fish Farmer - - World News -

THE Aqua­cul­ture Stew­ard­ship Coun­cil (ASC) is plan­ning spe­cific re­quire­ments for farms to prop­erly dis­pose of plas­tics and aqua­cul­ture gear, be­com­ing the only aqua­cul­ture body to join the Global Ghost Gear Ini­tia­tive (GGGI).

The GGGI is an al­liance of or­gan­i­sa­tions work­ing to find so­lu­tions to the prob­lem of lost, aban­doned or dis­carded fish­ing gear – known as ghost gear.

Ev­ery year at least 640,000 tonnes of ghost gear is left in the oceans, but the im­pact by fish farms re­mains un­ex­plored.

The ASC said it would learn from the ex­pe­ri­ences of its GGGI part­ners with an eye to­wards ap­ply­ing lessons to aqua­cul­ture pro­duc­tion.

‘As with fish­eries, plas­tics have be­come in­creas­ingly im­por­tant ma­te­ri­als for much of the equip­ment used in aqua­cul­ture, such as nets, pens, and buoys,’ said Marcelo Hi­dalgo, stan­dards and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion co­or­di­na­tor for ASC, who is lead­ing the work.

‘Many of these ma­te­ri­als have al­lowed big im­prove­ments in ef­fi­ciency and pro­duc­tiv­ity of the sec­tor.

‘But with so much plas­tic en­ter­ing our oceans, we de­cided that ac­tion was re­quired to as­sess how aqua­cul­ture can re­duce the im­pacts of plas­tic from the sec­tor.’

The ASC has be­gun com­pre­hen­sive re­search into the most com­mon­place and high­est risk plas­tics used in aqua­cul­ture equip­ment.

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