Seagriculture EU
29 - 30 June 2022
Bremerhaven, Germany

ASC-MSC Seaweed Certification: challenges and opportunities

Patricia Bianchi, Seaweed Account Manager, Aquaculture Stewardship Council, NL

Marine Stewardship Council, UK

About the speaker:

Patricia Bianchi is the Seaweed Account Manager of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council and the Marine Stewardship Council.  The ASC and MSC have released a joint standard for environmentally sustainable and socially responsible seaweed production. Patricia supports the development and implementation of the seaweed environmental and social standards. Patricia has more than 10 years of experience with environmental and social certification standards and the use of efficient market mechanisms that create value across the seafood supply chain. 

Company info:

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) are independent not-for-profit organizations with global influence. The primary role of the ASC is to manage the global standards for responsible aquaculture, aiming to transform the aquaculture industry to a higher standard through a comprehensive certification program that prioritizes the best environmental and social aquaculture performance.

The MSC runs the only certification and ecolabelling program for wild-capture fisheries. The MSC works with fishers, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups, regulators, and the public to promote fisheries best practices through its certification program and seafood ecolabel. When any buyer chooses to purchase MSC eco-labeled fish, certified fisheries are rewarded for their sustainable practices through market preference. The MSC and its partners encourage processors, suppliers, retailers, and consumers to give priority to purchasing seafood from MSC-certified fisheries and to demonstrate this through the use of the MSC ecolabel. 


Due to the rapid growth of global seaweed production and its increasing economic importance, the seaweed sector is facing many of the same environmental and social challenges experienced by farms and fisheries. By promoting better-managed seaweed cultivation and harvest we can meet the growing demand while minimizing environmental and social impacts. 

In order to achieve these aims, the MSC and ASC have developed together with the ASC-MSC Algae Standard. The science-based MSC-ASC environmental and social standard for responsible algae production offers a way to confirm sustainability, using a credible, independent third-party assessment process. It allows sustainable and responsible operations to be recognized and rewarded in the marketplace, giving an assurance to consumers that their algae (or by-products derived from them) come from a well-managed and sustainable source. 

The standard covers five core principles that include the status of the seaweed wild populations; environmental impacts, the effective management system that respects local, national, and international laws, social responsibility, and community impacts. The third-party assessment process allows to identify and improve environmental and social challenges within specific algae production systems. 

This presentation will provide an update on the ASC-MSC Seaweed certification, including the key challenges and opportunities for the seaweed supply chain.


Seaweed certification, environmental sustainability, social responsibility