Italian ship owner Asaros activities in Italy and West Africa proved to be sustainable by FoS

Italian ship owner Asaros activities in Italy and West Africa proved to be sustainable by Friend of the Sea


08 October 2018Italian ship owner Asaro‘s fleet, which catches a number of species in the Mediterrean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Senegal, has obtained Friend of the Sea’s certification for wild catch.

The Asaro Matteo Cosimo Vincenzo srl was founded in 1946 by Mr Gaspare Asaro in Mazara del Vallo, in South West Sicily, Italy. The introduction of frozen technology in 1960 has allowed the company to expand its activities beyond the Mediterranean Sea.

A third-party auditor has assessed the compliance of the company’s fishing activities with Friend of the Sea’s sustainability requirements in situ in Mazara del Vallo and Dakar.  The assessment confirmed that all species are frozen and packed on board according to a unique management system. Traceability and labelling systems are in place to ensure that certified wild caught fish is not stocked or mingled with other species.

The Twenty Four and the Francesco Padre fishing Aristaeomorpha foliacea in FAO areas 37.20/21/23/26/24/25 have been audited in Mazara del Vallo harbour. FAO General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean’s latest study (GFCM, 2016) stated that this species in particular, commonly known as giant red shrimp, is not overfished.

The Twenty and the Orione operating in the Sierra Leone high seas (FAO areas 34.3.1) have been audited in the Port of Dakar for the following species: Octopus vulgaris (common octopus), Arius heudelotii (catfish), Sepia officinalis (common cuttlefish), Penaeus notialis (southern pink shrimp), Parapenaeus longirostris (deep water rose shrimp), Pseudotolithus elongates (bobo croaker), Cynoglossus senegalensis (sole), Pagellus belotti (red pandora).

While labour conditions have been found to be respected, Friend of the Sea recommends the company to put in place a system of carbon footprint monitoring while assessing the overall impact of its activities on the marine environment. Moreover, they are committed to installing CCTV cameras on board in time for the next fishing campaign.

We should always thank our fathers, Matteo and Enzo Asaro, who made it possible for this company to become a leader in the Italian market,” claims Gaspare Asaro. What the fishing industry needs nowadays is to increase its approach to protect the marine environment. For this reason, we have chosen to join the Friend of the Sea project. In order to reach long-term sustainability, the first step must come from us. One of the first actions we took consists in reducing the catch of those fish (such as  Mustellus-Musuellus) that are more vulnerable.

 “We consider the affiliation of an historic ship owner such as Asaro an important demonstration of the fact that the fishing industry is changing for good throughout the years and generations of fishermen in Italy and abroad,” declares Paolo Bray, director and founder of Friend of the Sea. “Moreover, I’m confident that by awarding an important player operating in the West Africa region, other companies will follow the path.”