Public consultations on organic certification for the UK aquaculture industry set to commence in late November.
British organic certifier The Soil Association is inviting stakeholders and the public to participate in a review of its organic standards for aquaculture, aiming to enhance fish farming practices in the UK.
The Soil Association has decided to revise its existing standards, which have significantly influenced UK and European legislation over the years, the body announced last week.
The proposed updates to the standards primarily target improvements in welfare standards for Atlantic salmon, as well as for wrasse and lumpfish used as cleaner fish. Additionally, stricter regulations for feed and sea lice management, with an emphasis on reducing environmental impact, are being considered.
Soil Association’s Head of Standards, Chris Atkinson, expressed the importance of keeping organic standards aligned with recent research and developments across Europe.
“As part of our policy to constantly keep all organic standards under review, we are proposing an update to our aquaculture standards,” said Atkinson.
“We are seeking the views of anyone with an interest in the fish sector and sustainable food production to get involved with the consultation and to help us to ensure organic continues to drive forward standards of fish farming in the UK.”
The initial phase of the review will concentrate on standards for organic Atlantic salmon, with subsequent stages scheduled for 2024. These subsequent stages will extend the review to cover other aquatic species and align with anticipated legislative changes in Scottish aquaculture.
Public consultations for these standards are set to commence in late November.
Simultaneously, Soil Association is also reviewing its organic standards for packaging and farming in Northern Ireland.