New Organic Standard for Aquaculture - Canada (May 2012)

May 2012

Certified organic aquaculture products have been steadily increasing since the mid 1990s and a summary of progress in the certification of this is provided from Wiki.  There is no clearly accepted international standard which specifically applies to organic aquaculture, which has numerous scientific and chemical issues differing from land-based agriculture.

 The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance has now introduced a new standard “Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard”  which is designed to allow consumers to choose organically grown aquaculture products.  According to the organization “Specifically, the organic aquaculture standards prohibit the use of antibiotics, herbicides and genetically modified organisms, and severely restrict the use parasiticides, allowed only under veterinary supervision as a last course of treatment. The standards set measurable requirements for practices that minimize the impact of waste. These include defining stocking rates, cleaning procedures and the cleaning and feed materials that must be used.”

The standard adds the list of both Canadian and North American organic standards in general, but does not fall under the national regulatory-orientated Organic Products Regulations for Canada or Canada's trade equivalencies for organic products with the United States or European Union, the latter of which allow Canadian-labeled products to be marketed as such in the US and the EU, a key benefit to producers.  While the Canada Organic Trade Association welcomes the new standard as allowing Canadian aquaculture producers to differentiate themselves from imported goods in terms of organic credentials, Canadian press reports some Canadian organic seafood producers regard the standard as being too lenient, and allowing certain chemicals in.


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