SALMON FARMING: LAST CHANCE TO HAVE SAY ON GLOBAL STANDARDS – Fishfarmer Magazine

SALMON FARMING: LAST CHANCE TO HAVE SAY ON GLOBAL STANDARDS18 May, 2011 –

Those involved in or affected by salmon farming throughout Scotland are being urged to have their say on the shape and future of the £400 million industry, WWF Scotland has said as the final step in the process of creating a global standard begins.

Following the first round of feedback in August last year, significant changes have been made to the proposed Salmon Aquaculture Dialogues.

These include greater emphases on minimizing chemical usage, as well as a stronger emphasis on area-based management and monitoring of wild fish which will help us better understand and reduce any impacts on our wild salmon and sea trout populations.

The standards related to responsible sourcing of feed ingredients are clearer, and requirements that address key negative impacts of smolt production have been improved. The inclusion of some Scottish specific monitoring systems is recognition that the Scottish industry has reached a very high level in some areas of sustainable management. 

Dr Piers Hart, Aquaculture Policy Officer at WWF Scotland said: “Salmon farming is a very important industry for Scotland, we are one of the largest producers in the world. As such it is crucial that any negative impacts on people and the environment are minimised.

 “If a strong set of standards can be developed and then implemented by Scottish farmers we could see a transformation in the industry which would be good for everyone. A good set of standards would see some environmental impacts of salmon farming eliminated or reduced and secure markets created for those prepared to operate in more sustainable ways as well as improving public confidence in the industry.”

 The Salmon Aquacluture Dialogue standards will be given to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) to manage when that entity is in operation later this year. WWF is helping to create the ASC, which will be responsible for working with independent, third party entities to certify farms that are in compliance with the standards being developed by participants of the eight Aquaculture Dialogues. 

Feedback received during the 30-day public comment period will be used by the Dialogue’s nine-person Steering Committee to finalise the standards in the third quarter of 2011. The standards-development process has included more than 500 farmers, conservationists, government officials, academics and other salmon farming stakeholders.

 The Steering Committee that manages the salmon Dialogue includes representatives from Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance, Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform, Fundación Terram, Marine Harvest, Norwegian Seafood Federation, Pew Environment Group, SalmonChile, Skretting, and WWF. The Committee urges stakeholders to provide constructive feedback on the document, which remains a working draft.

For more information about the Salmon Dialogue and to provide feedback during the next public comment period, go to http://www.worldwildlife.org/salmondialogue.