Farms belonging to Norwegian salmon farming giant Mowi and Chilean producer Blumar have both had their Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification suspended following mass escapes.

Mowi had certification withdrawn from its Mefaldskjaeret Farm in northern Norway after an investigation by an independent 'Conformity Assessment Body' (CAB) -- in this case Bureau Veritas Denmark -- found that an escape in December 2019 was not out of the control of the farm and was therefore a breach of the ASC Salmon Standard.

Blumar was also penalised for its mass escape on June 28 at its Caicura 149 Farm in the Los Lagos region of Chile by another CAB, Control Union Peru who made the judgement July 3.

While a farm is suspended, product from that farm cannot be sold as ASC certified.

To become certified again after a withdrawn certificate, a farm must undergo a full audit after 12 months has passed from the withdrawal date.

"The ASC Salmon Standard sets extremely strict requirements to ensure that certified farms are minimising their impacts on their local environment and neighbors," states ASC. One of many criteria in the standard that cover these issues includes a number of requirements dealing specifically with escapes.

"To ensure minimal impact on the environment, no more than 300 fish may escape from an ASC certified farm in any one production cycle, farms must make information on all escapes publicly available, and use effective and accurate monitoring systems," states ASC.