AB Vassilopoulos: The first certified breeding farms for sea bream and sea bass in Europe are located in Greece

A pioneering initiative, introduced by AB Vassilopoulos, WWF Hellas and Nireus, has led Greece to acquire the first certified breeding farms for seabream and seabass overall Europe.

AB Vassilopoulos and WWF Hellas, in the framework of their cooperation to improve the responsibility in the fish supply chain, began in 2013 an ambitious program along with NIREUS. The innovative initiative aimed at further improving the management practices of NIREUS` 2 fish breeding units of sea bream and sea bass at Aliveri and Fokida.
Six years later, the long journey of placing Greece in the map of responsible aquaculture, with favourite fish such as sea bream and sea bass, has reached its final destination. Following this initiative, we have in Greece the first certified breeding farms throughout Europe, since the process of evaluating and certifying NIREUS` units for these two species by the independent body Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), was successfully completed.
The impact of aquaculture on fish populations, marine ecosystems, water quality and as a result, on the society, can be significantly reduced when implementing responsible practices. Such practices are now crucial as the rapid growth of the sector and the increasing demand for fish farming intensify the necessity of actively protecting marine ecosystems and keep our seas alive.
ASC is an independent, international organization that promotes good practices that minimize the environmental and societal footprint of the aquaculture industry. The ASC also forecasts standards for nine different species, including salmon, shrimp and trout.

For the creation of the new standard for seabass and seabass, ASC cooperated with environmental organizations and industry representatives, piloting visits to NIREUS` aquaculture units in Greece and other producers in countries of the Mediterranean.
Leonidas Papacharisis, Quality R&D Manager at Nireus Aquaculture SA, stated: “With dedication to sustainability throughout our activity, we have completed the program for the improvement of responsible aquaculture. Based on the new ASC standard, the evaluation process, of our breeding units at Aliveri and Nafpaktos-by an independent body, as well as the public consultation process were completed, on June 4th. With great pride, we received the ASC certification. The first producer all across Europe “.
“With dedication to Alfa-Beta’s sustainability strategy, we have worked with WWF Hellas and other reputable partners to provide responsible fish choices to the market. From now on we will be able to offer sea bream and seabass from certified farms with the internationally recognized ASC standard. Thus, we will contribute to minimizing the impact of aquaculture on the Greek marine ecosystem, while giving consumers the opportunity to reward good management practices, “underlined Dionysis Dionysopoulos, Quality Assurance & Procurement Support Services of AB.
Konstantinos Liarikos, Head of Environmental Programs at WWF Hellas, added: “Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production sector in the world. However, the rapid development of the aquaculture industry had impact on the marine ecosystem. With the creation of the new ASC standard for Mediterranean species and the first certified seabream and seabass farms in Greece and the Mediterranean, it is an opportunity to replicate this initiative in other aquaculture units across the Mediterranean, contributing significantly to further improve the sector`s management practices.”
The completion of this pioneering initiative demonstrates the strength and effectiveness of supply chain cooperation in order to minimize the impact of the industry.