Current stage:

Issue Prioritisation Development Selection Implementation

Improvement overview

With global seaweed production increasing along with demand for certification of the seaweed industry, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) recognise the importance of having a standard that rewards sustainable seaweed production, and provides a benchmark for improvement.

Current status

The ASC-MSC Seaweed Standard was released in November 2017. The joint standard marks a first for the two certification programs, bringing together expertise in sustainable fishing and responsible aquaculture. Building on each other’s expertise in standard setting and seafood certification, the ASC and MSC have developed the environmentally sustainable and socially responsible Seaweed Standard. The ASC-MSC Seaweed (Algae) Standard applies globally to all locations and scales of seaweed operations, including both harvesting of wild population and cultured seaweed production (farms).

The Standard will be effective from 1 March 2018. Seaweed production units who wish to enter assessment against the Seaweed Standard can apply from 1 March 2018, or earlier subject to approval by ASC-MSC.

The latest round of public consultation has now closed.

Planned work

Multi-site Certification: To enable large-scale organisations to achieve certification for more than one site in a single assessment process, the ASC-MSC are working on a methodology to audit samples of the organisation’s sites during surveillance audits, based on a risk analysis of the sites and central office.

Risk Based Framework: To ensure that data-deficient production units can be assessed against the ASC-MSC Seaweed Standard, the MSC Risk-Based Framework (RBF) will be available as an option in seaweed audits.The RBF methodologies to assess Principle 2 Indicators (2.1, 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4) will be adapted and be ready to use upon implementation (1 March 2018).

Group Certification: The group methodology will enable small and medium size production units to work collectively towards compliance with the Seaweed Standard and join together to become certified.

RBF for P1: The RBF for Principle 1 will be developed over a longer timeframe following the ASC-MSC standard setting procedures, which involve expert input and public consultation.


If you are interested to receive training for the ASC-MSC Seaweed Standard, please contact us at We also offer in-house training courses. For more information, please contact us at