Farming news

China’s first large yellow croaker aquaculture ship earns ASC certification

It is the world’s first full-scale “smart farming ship” which can produce 3,700 tonnes of large yellow croaker annually.

February 14, 2023

China-based fish-farming ship Conson No. 1 has become the first large yellow croaker (Larimichthys croceus) farm to achieve the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification in December 2022. It is the world’s first full-scale “smart farming ship” which can produce 3,700 tonnes of large yellow croaker annually. Local high-end retail company Ole has begun discussions to promote and source ASC-certified large yellow croaker for consumers in China.

ASC’s large yellow croaker certification is based on the ASC Tropical Marine Finfish Standard. The standard has more than 150 assessment indicators, including protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, strict control of antibiotic use, reduction of pesticide and chemical use, implementation of efficient resource and energy management systems, promotion of responsible feed sourcing, and a strong focus on community and social responsibility.

Conson No.1 Aquaculture Ship is owned by Qingdao Conson Blue Silicon Valley Development Co., LTD., a pioneer of closed-ship aquaculture. Conson No. 1 combines ample space with an advanced digital management system that closely controls the environment of the growing conditions.

The aquaculture ship cruises in waters up to 100 nautical miles offshore; carefully considering the seawater temperature along the route to match the growth of the large yellow croaker. Advanced weather monitoring systems avoid natural risks such as storms and typhoons. Water is circulated in the growing to simulate ocean currents and forms a rotating flow to mimic the natural environment. Additionally, because large yellow croakers have a relatively strong stress response to noise, the ship has advanced noise reduction technology to optimize growth. Onboard technology also enhances oxygenation inside the tanks, automatically provides intelligent-lighting and monitors and manages water cleaning and waste removal.


Auditors examined and verified the compliance of the entire process of fish farming on the ship against the ASC Tropical Marine Finfish Standard – from the fulfilment of legal requirements and regulations to the environmental and social performance and the aspects related to fish health and biosecurity. Additionally, auditors have also reviewed Conson No.1’s compliance with regulations and permits concerning water quality impacts in accordance with the legal requirements. For example, Conson No. 1 has among other key equipment an automatic extraction of dead fish and removal of dirt.

“The certification of the first smart aquaculture ship reflects the substantial efforts made by Qingdao Conson Blue Silicon Valley Development Co., towards more sustainable farming of large yellow croaker. We would like to congratulate all those involved with the management and operation of the Conson No. 1 for their commitment towards responsible aquaculture and for its dedication and efforts towards innovative fish farming and technology,” said Chris Ninnes, CEO at ASC.