ASC joins fight against plastic
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.