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Freshwater Trout Aquaculture Dialogue to Meet in November

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WASHINGTON, DC: The next meeting of the Freshwater Trout Aquaculture Dialogue will be November 5-6 in Barcelona, Spain. This will be the third meeting of the Dialogue, which is a group of trout producers, conservationists, scientists and others who began meeting in November 2008 to develop global standards for responsible Rainbow Trout aquaculture.

“The effort made to include producers in the discussion is important and impressive,” said Luz Arregui, a trout producer from Spain and member of the Dialogue’s Steering Committee. “We have been – and will continue to be – involved in the Dialogue process so that we make sure the final standards are in line with our top priority, which is protecting the environment while also making a living from trout farming.”

At the Spain meeting, participants will finalize the criteria – the areas to focus on to address the key impacts associated with freshwater trout aquaculture – and begin creating indicators for measuring the extent of each impact. The criteria and indicators will be the foundation for the performance-based standards that producers will need to adopt to become certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, a new organization that will be responsible for working with independent, third party entities to certify farms that are in compliance with the Dialogue standards.

When adopted, the final standards will help minimize the key environmental and social impacts of freshwater trout aquaculture – such as water pollution and the transfer of diseases to other fish – which were identified at the inaugural meeting of the Dialogue.

The Dialogue process is the only process for creating aquaculture standards that is in line with the world’s most reputable guidelines for developing environmental and social standards, which were created by the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance. Among the guidelines are creating the standards through an open, transparent and consensus-oriented process.

“The process we use recognizes the value of getting input from as many people as possible,” said Christoph Mathiesen of World Wildlife Fund, who coordinates the Dialogue. “By engaging with the people who care most about trout aquaculture and know the most about it, we are confident we will end up with standards that are fair and attainable.”

To ensure the standards are based on the best science available, one of the other goals of the November meeting will be to identify research that needs to be done to fill information gaps related to freshwater trout aquaculture.

The meeting will be held at the Hotel AC Diplomatic. If you would like to attend the meeting, contact Christoph Mathiesen at c.mathiesen@wwf.dk by October 15th. If you would like to reserve a room at the Hotel AC Diplomatic, contact Mar Taboada at acoruna@zafirotours.es

For more information about the trout Dialogue, go to www.worldwildlife.org/troutdialogue

The trout Dialogue is one of eight WWF-initiated Dialogues underway globally. Standards also are being developed for salmon, tilapia, shrimp, pangasius, abalone, bivalve shellfish, Seriola and cobia. For more information about the Dialogues, go to www.worldwildlife.org/aquadialogues