The Soil Association has launched new updated standards for organic aquaculture and seaweed.
The first to be released from a wider standards review, the standards are directly based on EU regulations but will feature higher requirements in several areas, emphasizing the humane treatment of fish and protection of the aquatic environment.
“Aquaculture is increasingly important as it has the potential to provide fish for global markets while limiting pressure on wild stocks which face a variety of threats,” explains Chris Atkinson, head of standards at the Soil Association. “Having strict but straightforward standards for organic production will ensure that this does not come at the cost of environmental pollution or poor animal welfare. We are proud that our standards exceed those required by the EU in these key areas; the Soil Association believes in always delivering the best possible result for human health, animal welfare and the environment.”
The changes include dedicated standards for organic seaweed production and collection, which can now display the Soil Association symbol. These standards directly reflect those imposed by EU regulations.
The Soil Association’s full aquaculture standards review was launched with a public consultation in 2015 to ensure standards provide the maximum impact for animal welfare and sustainability while being straightforward and transparent for licensees. Industry experts, producers and interested consumers all contributed to the consultation. The updated standards were then produced in conjunction with the Soil Association’s independent Aquaculture Standards Committee.
The new standards are will be effective immediately and are available to view online at www.sacert.org/farming/standards.