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Seafood Watch strips Nova Austral of 'Good Alternative' ranking

Company has lost both ASC and Seafood Watch stamps of approval.

The Monterey Bay Seafood Watch program has stripped beleaguered Chilean salmon farmer Nova Austral of its favorable "Good Alternative" ranking, the NGO confirmed to IntraFish on Thursday.

The company's Sixty South salmon brand has been removed from the Seafood Watch list of salmon recommendations on its web site. The move is a reversal of the group's position from last week, when it said it was sticking by the recommendation while Chilean authorities conducted their investigation.

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Earlier this week, Chile’s National Service of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Sernapesca) said it was filing three complaints against salmon farmer Nova Austral following findings that support allegations that the company misreported salmon mortalities to the authorities.

"Seafood Watch has now obtained sufficient information and has removed the recommendation for Nova Austral salmon," the group told IntraFish on Thursday evening.

In addition, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) earlier this week officially suspended Nova Austral's licensing agreement.

In a statement, the ASC announced that Nova Austral must immediately cease the use of the ASC logo and halt any current sales of products with any relevant trademarks, including any product with an ASC chain of custody (CoC) number.

Nova Austral's problems continued to unfold this week after the company's CEO was ousted over the ongoing investigation into the company's misreporting of salmon moratalities on it farms.

On Friday, Sernapesca asked the Chilean Environmental Superintendency for a 30-day suspension of farming at one of Nova Austral's sites following irregularities found during its investigation.

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