Abalone is the sixth species or group of species the Aquaculture Dialogues is currently addressing, joining tilapia, pangasius, salmon, shrimp and other mollusks (clams, mussels, oysters and scallops). The Aquaculture Dialogues for trout and seaweed will begin later this year.
"Creating standards for this rapidly growing industry is critical"
Jose Villalon, the WWF's director of aquaculture in Washington, D.C.
According to Seafood Currents, the purpose of the Aquaculture Dialogues is to develop measurable, performance-based certification standards for seafood farmers. The standards are designed to minimize the six to eight main environmental and social impacts of seafood farming so the aquaculture industry can grow in a sustainable manner.
The goal of next month's two-day meeting is to identify these impacts for abalone farming, which has a relatively minimal impact on the environment, according to the WWF.
"Creating standards for this rapidly growing industry is critical," said Jose Villalon, the WWF's director of aquaculture in Washington, D.C., in a press release. "We will work with our Dialogue partners as quickly as possible to create standards that are attainable, innovative and applicable globally."
"The main aim for us as farmers is to ensure that the current environmental management systems we have in place are robust and of a high enough quality to receive the endorsement of WWF," added Mark Gervis of Southern Ocean Mariculture, an Australian abalone farm.