WASHINGTON, DC: The world’s salmon aquaculture industry leaders will meet in the United Kingdom in November to move forward with developing measurable standards for salmon farming. The standards will help minimize the industry’s key impacts on the environment and society.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-initiated Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue will hold its 12th meeting November 12-13, 2008 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Producers, scientists, NGO representatives, feed manufacturers and others are expected to attend the open meeting.
“We are pleased that the next salmon Dialogue meeting will be hosted in Scotland,” said Dawn Purchase, mariculture officer at the Marine Conservation Society. “Given that Scotland is the third largest producer of farmed Atlantic salmon in the world, it will provide a great opportunity for industry and key stakeholders like us to participate in the standard development process.”
Alan Sutherland, managing director of Marine Harvest Scotland, said “Marine Harvest has participated in the Dialogue since it began and we are excited about the next meeting being in our country. Being involved gives us the chance to help ensure the standards are good for the industry and the environment.”
One of the main goals of the meeting will be to finalize salmon aquaculture principles that address the key environmental and social impacts associated with salmon aquaculture. Draft principles were presented at the salmon Dialogue meeting in January, revised based on feedback at the meeting, and are now posted for public comment through October 15th. The latest draft of principles will be presented at the November meeting. Draft principles include conserving natural habitat and local biodiversity, as well as protecting the health and genetic integrity of wild populations. For a full list of principles, as well as the comment form, go to http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SalmonDPForm
Also at the meeting, participants will begin to create the criteria that will aim to provide direction on how to reduce each impact. Draft criteria developed by the Dialogue Steering Committee will be presented as a starting off point for the discussion.
The principles and criteria, as well as indicators to be developed at a future meeting, will be the foundation for the final standards, which will be measurable, performance-based and designed to minimize the environmental and social impacts that cause most of the problems associated with salmon farming.
“This meeting will bring participants one step closer to building consensus on the standards,” said Jose Villalon, director of the WWF-US Aquaculture Program. “A multi-stakeholder, consensus-building process is the only way to ensure that the standards for salmon will be robust and credible.”
People interested in attending the meeting should contact salmon Dialogue coordinator Katherine Bostick at Katherine.firstname.lastname@example.org by October 20, 2008.
Notes to Editor:
- WWF is the catalyst for a series of species-specific roundtables, called the Aquaculture Dialogues, which consist of multiple stakeholders developing standards for 10 aquaculture products: salmon, shrimp, trout, tilapia, pangasius and five types of molluscs.
- All of the standards will be built on a consensus about the key impacts; identify and support the adoption or adaptation of better management practices that significantly reduce or eliminate those impacts; determine globally acceptable performance levels; and contribute to global shifts in performance within an industry.
- The Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue is driven by a Steering Committee that includes representatives from Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform, Fundación Terram, Marine Harvest, Pew Environment Group, Norwegian Seafood Federation, SalmonChile, Salmon of the Americas, Skretting and WWF. Dialogue participants include Salmon producers, retailers, scientists, environmental groups and others.
- To learn more about the salmon Dialogue, go to www.worldwildlife.org/salmondialogue
For more than 45 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The largest multinational conservation organization in the world, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level, from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. Go to worldwildlife.org to learn more.