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The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is a certification initiative which aims to promote responsible aquaculture. Oxfam regards ASC as an initiative to transform the sector, but there is a need for urgent improvements on social aspects such as fair contracts for farmers, decent labor rights in the industry, and effective and transparent stakeholder consultation including farmers, workers, communities, and civil society.
Currently, smallholder farmers are effectively excluded from certification, the burden of change is put on farmers rather than shared throughout the chain, and the quality and effectiveness of social impact assessments are lacking. This paper presents several recommendations on how ASC should address these issues, so that it can truly claim to promote social responsibility.