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Process of Creating Global Standards for Responsible Freshwater Trout Aquaculture Enters Final Stage

WASHINGTON, DC, MAY 18, 2011 - The final step in the process of creating global standards for freshwater trout farming began today, when the Freshwater Trout Aquaculture Dialogue (FTAD) kicked off the last public comment period for the draft standards.

The final standards will address key environmental and social impacts associated with trout farming; an industry that started in the 1870’s and now accounts for 95 percent of the trout eaten globally.

“The standards we are developing will be more robust when the entire freshwater trout aquaculture industry, including retailers, farmers and scientists continue to be involved with their development,” stated dialogue Steering Committee member Matteo Leonardi of Troticoltura F.lli Leonardi.

Feedback received during the 30 day public comment period will be used by the FTAD’s eight- person Steering Committee to finalize the standards in the third quarter of 2011. The standards-development process began in 2008 and has included more than 300 farmers, conservationists, government officials, academics and other freshwater trout farming stakeholders.

Significant changes have been made to the FTAD standards as a result of the input received during and after the first public comment period (July-September 2010), which also included a full stakeholder meeting in Verona (September 2010). Among the changes are an emphasis on simplifying the standards to reduce complexity and costs and eliminating some of the third party assessments that can be covered through enhanced farmer documentation.

“It’s evident that FTAD stakeholders are working tirelessly with the objective of making these standards the most credible.” said Christoph Mathiesen of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), who coordinates the Dialogue. “Since farming takes place around the world, including Europe, Eurasia and the United States, we want to make sure the standards respect the differences in culture, technology and aquatic resources so that they are accessible to everyone who wants to farm trout responsibly.”

The final FTAD standards will be handed over to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) to manage.    

To review the draft freshwater trout standards and provide input, go to

http://www.worldwildlife.org/what/globalmarkets/aquaculture/troutdialogue.html.