Canadian farmed fish can now be certified as organic. The Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard was released yesterday.
It prohibits the use of antibiotics, herbicides and genetically modified organisms, and severely restricts the use of parasiticides. The standard also sets measurable requirements for practices that minimize the effect of waste, including defining stocking rates, cleaning procedures and cleaning and feed materials that must be used.
Some feel that the concept of net pen and organic aquaculture are incompatible. BC-based Living Oceans Society and the Conservation Council of New Brunswick are opposed to it, despite a ban on the use of antibiotics and herbicides. Living Oceans Society’s Kelly Roebuck, raises concerns with the certification. For example, all other organic livestock requires 100% organic feed, but this is not the case with the Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard.
Others, like Stephanie Wells, of Canada Organic Trade Association, believes that this certification is a step in the right direction which allows for positive change.
The certification standard is based on a 2010 draft for organic certification and developed out of information and feedback gathered from various fish farmers across the country.
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