Aquaculture for all
The Fish Site presents: The Vienna Sessions - Conversations about aquaculture. 9 video interviews with aquaculture thought leaders. Watch here.

Irish World first for independent eco-standard

IRELAND - Bord Iascaigh Mhara (Irish Sea Fisheries Board) has unveiled the first independently accredited eco-standard for aquaculture, the Irish Quality Eco-Mussel Standard.

Launched at the World Seafood Congress in Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin, Ireland, the mark is an extension of the existing Irish Quality Mussel Scheme, which is awarded to mussel growers and processors who meet a number of key criteria and follow strict environmental management practices in all aspects of their business.

The standard guarantees assurance that the mussels have been produced with due care for the environment, above and beyond all existing requirements and is accredited to EN45011, the Gold Standard for product certification.

BIM Aquaculture Development Manager Donal Maguire is keen to emphasize the importance of the Standard. He says that although eco-standards do exist internationally, this is the world’s first independently accredited eco-standard for aquaculture.

"It encourages production of an exceptionally high quality, sustainable product, along with additional requirements to ensure that all aspects of production have minimal environmental impact,” he said at the launch.

Bantry Bay Seafoods has also unveiled the first product produced under the BIM Irish Quality Eco-Mussel Standard and label. The Cork based company is the first processor in Ireland to produce a product under the scheme’s stringent requirements. Blackshell Farm and Westpoint Shellfish, who supply the processing sector, have also been awarded the quality mark.

Denis Minihane of Bantry Bay Seafood says Eco-Label and quality mark will allow seafood producers to differentiate their products and satisfy consumer needs, while also minimising the environmental impact and ensuring best practise throughout the supply chain.

“Top in the mind for many of the 400 seafood delegates here at the conference is the issue of sustainability of seafood resources. By adhering to this stringent scheme we are demonstrating Bantry Bay’s commitment that we are following strict environmental management practices in all aspects of our business. Promoting this is important, particularly given that until now there has been no certification of this nature for aquaculture before,” said Mr Minihane.

A similar Quality Eco-Standard for Salmon has also been accredited, with particular interest identified in France and elsewhere, and product under the standard is expected to be available shortly.