The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification has been awarded to a leading Madagascan shrimp farm, located in Mahajamba, on the north-west coast
This is the first shrimp farm in Africa to receive ASC certification. This is an international labelling scheme that promotes the best environmental and social aquaculture performance.
Unima, the producer, partnered with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to implement good social and environmental practices. The company is now recognised for boosting community development, reforestation and for its sound management, water treatment and waste management.
WWF has applauded Unima’s commitment by saying that it [Unima] goes beyond the ASC standards. This certification is a major step for the shrimp sector across Africa. In 2014, shrimp fishing and farming represented 49 per cent of Madagascar’s fish products exports.
‘When managed responsibly, aquaculture can thrive alongside healthy wild fish populations and without harming the marine environment, including the vulnerable mangrove areas in Madagascar,’ said WWF fisheries programme officer in Madagascar,Didier Fourgon.
‘The ASC shrimp certification is a good starting point to achieve this. It´s a proof of good industrial practices and a quality warranty for European consumers on their product choice.’
Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana, country director of WWF-Madagascar, said: ‘We hope this certification of Aqualma will serve as a model for other shrimp farms and will stimulate further engagement of the broader Malagasy shrimp industry towards sustainable management. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Unima and also other farms in shrimp producing countries, such as Mozambique, to implement better practices and help achieve ASC certification throughout the Africa region.’