Critical comments on ASC salmon standard
fair-fish comments critically on the second draft of standards for responsible salmon aquaculture, developped by the WWF US led international Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue (SAD) designed for the new WWF aquaculture label ASC.
fair-fish criticizes the total lack of animal welfare criteria in the ASC standard and too permissive criteria with regard to wild fish in the feed.
The fair-fish comments are to be found here.
And here is the 2nd draft for ASC.
Before, fair-fish had commented to the 1st draft.
I agree that the Aquaculture Dialogue is flawed wrt animal welfare. We are particularly concerned that SAD is proposing to ban all anti-predator sonic devices. This directly impacts on the welfare of the farmed stock and encourages farmers to take lethal action. We agree that SAD should look at all aspects of animal welfare especially the slaughter process which in many parts of the world falls far short of the recommendations of the European Food Standards Agency.
I myself am not directly involved in the salmon dialogues. However I do participate in other aquaculture dialogues. There also animal welfare is lacking. I am aware of this. I understand how that has happened. yet many agree with you this is an oversight. With a reason behind it, yet still an oversight.
There is one thing in your email that I want to ask about. You say that without animal welfare a new standard in aquaculture is not needed. is that so? I myself am keen on seeing social issues reflected in standards: labour, community impacts, impact on fisherfolk, etc. No standard has such issues reflected. The salmon standard could potentially do this. This new addition will make a salmon standard worthwhile for me. Not ideal (because some concerns are indeed still missing), but better then the others (because some concerns are finally taken up).
I hope you understand my reasoning: some improvements are better then doing othing, while acknowledging that the standard is still not ideal. Is the glass half full or half empty? I think half full. Still another half to go, but also reason to keep the glass and try to fill it even further.
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