Chilean salmon farmer Nova Austral has achieved Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification at two of its salmon farms located in the Magallanes Region in Chile, and is working to extend it to its entire operation.

Last year, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) suspended Nova Austral's licensing agreement, following legal proceedings launched by Chile’s National Service of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Sernapesca) concerning fraud allegations against the company.

The salmon farmer was ordered to pay a fine of CLP 150 million ($190,000) after a high court found the group guilty of under-reporting mortalities at is sites in Magallanes.

The ASC certification resulted from an audit conducted by an independent certification company, Control Union (CUP).

The ASC certification of both centers follows "tireless work" by Nova Austral's team since the end of 2019 to improve performance in environmental, social, and animal responsibility, the company said.

Also, it shows Nova Austral’s commitment to strengthening its compliance programs and all processes in the value chain.

The company said the move is also another step in Nova Austral strengthening good practices, including a restructuring of the company with higher standards of compliance, ethics and corporate governance.

In April, Nova Austral acting COO Nicolas Larco assumed the role as the new CEO of the company, while keeping his responsibilities as CFO until further notice.

Larco took over the running of the company after former COO Francisco Miranda suffered a head injury after falling from a horse on Oct. 17.

"We are proud to have earned this certification because it demonstrates the effort that the entire organization has made to rebuild Nova Austral and continue to be leaders in the Chilean salmon industry," said Larco.