Certified Organic Aquaculture - the "Blue Revolution" made sustainable
Principles of Organic Aquaculture:
- Careful selection of sites for aquaculture farms
- Protection of adjacent ecosystems
- Active avoidance of conflicts with other users of the aquatic resources (e.g. fishermen)
- Prohibiton of chemicals (e.g. as anti-fouling agents in net pens)
- Natural remedies and treatments in the case of disease
- Feedstuff from organic agriculture
- Fishmeal and -oil in feed derived from by-products of fish processed for human consumption (no dedicated "feed fishery")
- Prohibition of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), neither in feedstuff, nor in the stock itself
- Processing according to organic standards
Organic aquaculture and ASC
The ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council), a brainchild of the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), was founded in 2010 at the express will of leading retail chains.
In the public's perception, the ASC standards represent the WWF's ideal of aquaculture, even though they were not drawn up directly by WWF's head offices. And although it bears its own logo, ASC's brand power is ultimately derived from the panda logo.
Naturland has been asked by various media and market representatives whether it regards the appearance of such an ambitious "conventional" brand for aquaculture products as competition for the number of organic aquaculture projects which are on the increase the world over, and whether it could even pose a threat to them.
Aquaculture in the EU Organic Regulation
Naturland Responds to the new EU Organic Regulation
After lengthy discussions, the EU Commission has approved the detailed Implementing Rules of organic aquaculture in the new EU organic regulation, on June 29th2009. Thus, a legal regulation of organic fish and seafood exists throughout Europe for the first time. The organic association Naturland had already developed a standard for organic aquaculture twelve years ago and played an important role in the process in Brussels. „Naturland welcomes these measures of the EU to encourage organic fish production. However, the new standard is only the lowest common denominator, important points were defined too weakly,“ emphasized Hans Hohenester, organic farmer and chair of the board of directors of Naturland.
At the end of the 20th century, aquaculture - the husbandry of aquatic animals and plants - became the food sector with highest annual growth rates. A third of all fish and seafood consumed worldwide origins from ponds, net cages, mussel lines etc..
Problems of growth
But this rapid growth also entailed negative consequences: massive use of chemicals and antibiotics, destruction of tropical mangrove forests for the purpose of constructing shrimp ponds, and the over-fertilisation of natural water bodies through the effluents of fish farms are just a few of them.
From Spain to Vietnam...
In the mid-Nineties, Naturland started to develop standards for Organic Aquaculture. Today, aquafarms in more than twenty countries are producing according to these standards, e.g. organic trout in Germany, France and Spain, organic salmon in Ireland, organic shrimp in Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia, organic tilapia in Israel, Ecuador, and Honduras, organic Pangasius (Basa) in Vietnam...