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Mollusc Aquaculture Dialogue Expands to Europe

Stakeholders to Meet in Spain in November

WASHINGTON, DC: The Mollusc Aquaculture Dialogue will broaden its reach to Europe in November to engage stakeholders from one of the world's most influential mollusc farming regions in the process of creating standards for responsible mollusc farming.

The next meeting of the mollusc Dialogue will be November 13-14 in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Dialogue participants will provide input on the development of measurable, performance-based standards that will minimize the key environmental and social impacts of the farming of clams, oysters, scallops and mussels.

“With the mollusc farming industry growing so quickly, especially in Europe, it’s important to engage as many people as possible in the process of creating standards for the industry,” said Jose Villalon, director of World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Aquaculture Program. “The standards will not be credible without their input.”

Meeting participants will build off of the impacts identified and draft principles, criteria and indicators created at mollusc Dialogue meetings held over the past year in North America and New Zealand.

They also will select individuals to be on the Dialogue’s European Steering Committee and Global Steering Committee.

The mollusc Dialogue is one of six Aquaculture Dialogues initiated by WWF. Other Dialogues are underway to create standards for shrimp, salmon, tilapia, pangasius and abalone. The Dialogue standards will be unique because they will simultaneously help transform the aquaculture industry and protect the environment. They will be the most robust environmental standards available, in large part because they will be geared toward the best performers in the industry. Setting the bar at the “best performer” level will give more credibility to the standards and motivate others in the industry to adopt the standards.

People interested in attending the meeting or recommending a researcher to present on the environmental or social issues related to bi-valve aquaculture in the region should contact mollusc Dialogue coordinator Colin Brannen by November 1 at colin.brannen@wwfus.org or (202) 778-9534. For more information about molluscs and the WWF Dialogues, go to www.worldwildlife.org/aquadialogues.