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Regal Springs Celebrates 10 Years as the First Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Certified Fish Producer in the World

Commemorating Regal Springs’ 10-year Anniversary as the World’s First ASC-Certified Fish Producer

The Significance of ASC Certification for Regal Springs’ Tilapia Products

(ASC Certification 2022)

Jakarta (08/15) – Ten years ago today, Regal Springs’ tilapia aquaculture in Lake Toba, North Sumatra, Indonesia, became the world’s first fish farm to receive the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification.

A decade later, over 1,700 fish farmers worldwide have met ASC standards and received ASC certification. With an annual production of 2.5 million tons of seafood and seaweed, these fish farmers reflect the crucial transformation of social and environmental responsibility by aquaculture industry players.

To this day, Regal Springs’ tilapia aquaculture in Lake Toba remains an ASC-certified entity, as well as their other fish farms in Honduras and Mexico.

“At Regal Springs, we take great pride in being pioneers, and of course, we have expanded the certification that started in Indonesia to Honduras and Mexico,” said Petra Weigl, Managing Director of Regal Springs for Europe.

Rudolf Hoeffelman, Managing Director of Regal Springs Indonesia, added that ASC certification has provided the company with numerous benefits. These include well-organized data, transparently shared with ASC audits and reports, improved traceability from feed to harvest (the upcoming ASC Feed Standard will further enhance our feed sourcing in our farms), and sustainable advancements in social responsibility for both internal and external stakeholders.

“Overall, ASC certification has helped us communicate our business sustainability and good practices to stakeholders and customers in a clear and organized manner,” said Rudolf.

The certification for Regal Springs’ tilapia aquaculture was awarded two years after the establishment of ASC. At that time, only two types of aquaculture—tilapia and pangasius—were eligible for ASC certification. As of 2022, ASC standards exist for 11 species groups, allowing farmers harvesting these species to pursue ASC certification. These species groups include abalone; bivalves (clams, mussels, oysters, scallops); flatfish; freshwater trout; pangasius; salmon; sea bass, sea bream, and meagre; yellowtail and amberjack; shrimp; tilapia; and tropical finfish. There is also a combined ASC-MSC standard for all types of seaweed.

Chris Ninnes, CEO of ASC, stated that every journey begins with the first step. Today, August 15, is an important milestone in our journey to transform the aquaculture industry. The first certified fish farm in Indonesia in 2012 has had a ripple effect on all stakeholders, from producers to farmers, in markets around the world.

“We are delighted to see the change towards more responsible aquaculture, and this strengthens our commitment to making an even greater impact in the next 10 years,” said Chris.

Preserving the Ecosystem

As Regal Springs’ tilapia aquaculture is located in Lake Toba, the largest volcanic lake in the world, ensuring a healthy and clean ecosystem is vital to their fish production. The lake spans over 1,100 square kilometers with a depth of nearly 500 meters.

Clean and deep water is key to the well-being of the local community, biodiversity, and tilapia health. Regal Springs acknowledges this and pays great attention to the protection of the remarkable freshwater ecosystem in Lake Toba.

“We use floating net cages with minimal impact on the lake’s natural environment. We also continuously monitor water quality to ensure it remains oxygen-rich and undisturbed by aquaculture activities. Good water quality directly affects the quality of Regal Springs’ tilapia, making the fish robust and healthy, and we ensure the complete elimination of additive use,” said Friska Saragih, Lake Manager of Regal Springs Indonesia.

Regal Springs adheres to a zero waste policy or ‘whole fish’ approach. Only about one-third of the tilapia is used for fillet or loin cuts sold in stores. The remaining parts of the fish—skin, scales, bones, heart, and more—are utilized in other industries.

Tilapia from Lake Toba contributes to the production of food supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fertilizers, and even fashion (in the form of tilapia leather products). Regal Springs also uses tilapia oil as a biofuel powering trucks and other machinery.

Collaborating with the Local Community

As one of the largest companies in the Lake Toba region, Regal Springs employs approximately 500 local residents. ASC certification requires Regal Springs not only to meet excellent environmental criteria but also to adhere to strong social responsibility standards, occupational health and safety requirements, the formation of worker unions, collaboration with the local community, and more.

Included in Regal Springs’ commitment to social welfare is providing health insurance and collaborating with local health clinics to serve the well-being of employees and their families.

Regal Springs also supports honorary teachers, educational facilities in schools, and provides additional nutrition for early childhood and pregnant mothers as part of their community outreach programs.

Healthy and Delicious Tilapia

Tilapia is a fish with numerous health and environmental benefits. It is high in protein but low in calories. Tilapia is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, containing more omega-3 per serving than beef, chicken, pork, and other terrestrial livestock. It is also rich in vitamins B12, C, and E, as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, niacin, folate, and more.

Tilapia is a versatile and easily cooked, low-mercury fish, with a mild flavor loved by those with sensitive taste buds.

This week, as a tribute to responsible fish farming, pay attention to ASC-labeled tilapia products in your nearest supermarket and see if they come from Regal Springs.