Although originally envisioned for use on land, the High Conservation Value (HCV) approach can also help identify and protect important freshwater and coastal ecosystems and support responsible aquaculture.

Existing guidance on use of the HCV approach currently mainly focuses on forestry and agriculture - aquatic environments only figure to the extent that they are impacted by terrestrial production practices. The HCV approach is generic, though, and in principle equally applicable to aquatic production systems. This is recognised by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) in the recently proposed ASC Farm Standard, in which protection of HCV Areas is mentioned in the context of expansion.

After successful conversations between the ASC and the HCV Network, in April 2021, both organisations formalised their collaboration through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU, signed on July 12, 2021, represents the first step in a fruitful relationship aimed at conserving HCVs in aquaculture.

For more information, please contact Ana Sofia Lorda at