Paving The Way For Responsible Aquaculture In Greece And The Mediterranean

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Paving The Way For Responsible Aquaculture In Greece And The Mediterranean

A pioneering initiative, launched by ΑB Vassilopoulos, a member of the Ahold Delhaize Group, Nireus Aquaculture S.A. and WWF Greece, has paved the way for responsible aquaculture for sea bream and sea bass, both in Greece and in the Mediterranean.

In 2013, AB Vassilopoulos, WWF Greece and Nireus launched a programmed aimed at improving the management practices of three of Nireus’ sea bream and sea bass farms in Greece.

The anticipated commitments have been regularly audited by TUV Austria Hellas (third party auditor), and the project has been completed this year.

This initiative has prepared the farms to apply for the new certification for Mediterranean species, as launched by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).

ASC Standards

ASC is a global, independent non-profit organisation that sets the standards for responsible aquaculture and which encourages seafood producers to minimise the key environmental and social impacts of aquaculture.


In terms of the development of the new standard for sea bream and sea bass, ASC has collaborated with environmental organisations and industry representatives, conducting pilot visits to Nireus’s farming units in Greece and to other selected producers in the Mediterranean region.

The future of aquaculture can be ensured only by improving the responsibility of industry practices. This is of vital importance in order to minimise the impact on the marine environment.

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard for Mediterranean farmed species was launched last September. Nireus applied for this certification and Greece will soon have the first certified aquaculture farms for sea bream and sea bass.

“With this initiative, our goal is achieved and our products will be produced through applying further responsible practices, which are beneficial for both the environment and society,” said Leonidas Papaharisis, Director of Quality, Research & Development of Nireus.


The completion of this pioneering initiative demonstrates the strength and effectiveness of the cooperation of strategic players in the supply chain, so as to minimise the impact of the industry.

Ambitious Target

"We have set an ambitious target at AB Vassilopoulos: a large part of the seafood we are offering to the Greek consumer comes from sustainable and responsible sources," said Dionysis Dionysopoulos, Director of the Quality Assurance Department of AB.

"Offering certified sea bream and sea bass will help us to contribute to further reduction of the aquaculture impact in the Greek marine environment, while enabling consumers to reward the best practices."

Konstantinos Liarikos, Conservation Director at WWF Greece, commented, "Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production system in the world. However, the rapid growth of aquaculture industry has not come without impacts.


"With the development of the new ASC standard for Mediterranean species, there is an opportunity to replicate this initiative in other farms throughout the Mediterranean and significantly and measurably reduce the environmental impact."

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