Creating Standards for Responsibly Farmed Freshwater Trout

To address the impacts of farmed freshwater trout, WWF created the Freshwater Trout Aquaculture Dialogue. The inaugural meeting of the Dialogue was held in November 2008 in Denmark. Meeting participants approved the goals and objectives for the Dialogue, identified the key environmental and social impacts associated with the farming of freshwater trout and drafted principles for addressing each impact. At the second meeting of the Dialogue, held in the Faroe Islands in May 2009, participants drafted the criteria that will aim to provide direction on how to reduce each impact. In November 2009, at a Dialogue meeting in Spain, participants began to develop draft indicators. The Steering Committee that manages the Dialogue process spent the next few months working with technical experts and others to strengthen the indicators so they could be used to create measurable, performance-based standards for freshwater trout farming.

Freshwater Trout Standards Finalized

Global standards for the freshwater trout aquaculture industry are complete. The standards are the product of over four years of work by the participants of the Freshwater Trout Aquaculture Dialogue. We thank the Dialogue's Steering Committee for its commitment to managing this process.

Download the standards

The first draft of the freshwater trout aquaculture standards was posted for public comment from July to October 2010. Feedback received during that comment period was used by the Dialogue's Steering Committee to create the second draft of the standards, which was available for public comment from May to July 2011. Feedback received during that comment period was used to create the final draft standards document, which was released on January 19, 2012. The standards were finalized and then handed over to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) in February 2013 after the completion of a guidance manual for auditing trout farms. The ASC is now responsible for working with independent, third party entities to certify farms that are in compliance with the standards.

Dialogue participants have identified six principles that provide the framework for developing the criteria, indicators and standards for responsible freshwater trout farming. The principles are:

  1. Comply with all applicable international, national and local laws and regulations
  2. Conserve local habitat and biodiversity
  3. Minimize negative effects on water resources
  4. Proactively maintain the health and welfare of cultured fish and minimize risk of disease transmission
  5. Use resources responsibly
  6. Be socially responsible


Additional Resources
Final Freshwater Trout Standards

Second Public Comment Period:

January 2011 Steering Committee Meeting:

First Public Comment Period:

September 2010 Meetings:

June 2010 Steering Committee Meeting:

March 2010 Outreach Meetings in Turkey:

Meeting Summary 

January 2010 Steering Committee Meeting:

November 2009 Meeting:


May 2009 Meeting:

November 2008 Meeting:

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