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Global Abalone Sustainability Standards Completed


GENERAL - Global standards addressing the potential negative impacts of abalone farming on the environment and society were finalised by the Abalone Aquaculture Dialogue, a diverse consortium of organizations and stakeholders led by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The announcement follows the recent completion of certification standards for bivalves, pangasius and tilapia; standards for shrimp, freshwater trout, salmon, Seriola and cobia, are expected to be finalized by mid-2011.

“Given that the process we used to create the standards was transparent and involved more than 100 people, including farmers and scientists from the world’s key abalone production countries, we now have the most credible abalone aquaculture standards in the marketplace,” said Abalone Aquaculture Dialogue Steering Committee member Vincent Encena of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center. “

The new standards seek to minimize the key impacts associated with abalone farming by, for example, requiring bio-secure quarantine for wild-to-farm translocations, and requiring evidence of compliance with a documented protocol for health surveillance and disease response.

“Halfway home,” said Jose Villalon, director of the WWF-US Aquaculture Program. “These Aquaculture Dialogues are a tremendous accomplishment; bringing farmers, scientists, retailers and others together to create the most substantive set of standards the aquaculture industry has ever had.”

The certification process for these standards, and all of the standards developed by the Aquaculture Dialogues, will be overseen by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), a new entity that is expected to be operational by mid-2011. The standards will be amended regularly to incorporate new science and technology, as well as to encourage continuous improvement on farms.