Report Examines Sustainability Claims of Farmed Salmon Eco-certifications

None of the farmed salmon eco-certifications that are currently in the market fully meet the requirements of credible standards, according to a new resource guide produced by Living Oceans Society and the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR).

The report, "Better than the Rest -- A Resource Guide to Farmed Salmon Certifications," was largely written for retailers, according to the groups. The guide assesses the five eco-certifications on the market, two certifications in draft, and the organic labels in use and in development for farmed salmon.

"Sustainable seafood is big business, and a plethora of eco-labels and eco-certifications exist on the market today, " said Tiffany Hilman, spokeswoman for Living Oceans Society. "This guide helps businesses avoid the 'greenwash' and support the development of the truly responsible practices their customers are expecting."

The eco-certifications were evaluated using two widely recognized guidelines for standard development and certification schemes -- those of the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling alliance (ISEAL) and United Nations Fisheries and Aquaculture Organization (FAO). Each standard was also assessed based on how each standard addresses salmon farming's environmental impacts.

Only one aquaculture eco-certification -- the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue, currently in draft -- holds the promise of truly rigorous standards that could potentially certify products resulting from more responsible practices, according to the report. However, the standard is still in draft form and subject to a 30-day public comment period this spring before the final version can be assessed.

The five eco-certifications currently on the market include esqu Eco-Label, GLOBALG.A.P., Cooke Aquaculture's Seafood Trust Eco-Salmon, Irish Quality Eco-Salmon, and Friend of the Sea. The guide also evaluates three emerging aquaculture production systems, such as closed containment technologies currently being explored by the aquaculture industry.

To read the full report, click here:

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