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The final step in the process of creating global standards for freshwater trout farming began this week, when the Freshwater Trout Aquaculture Dialogue (FTAD) opened the last public comment period for the draft standards, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which is coordinating the dialogue
The final standards will deal with key environmental and social effects of trout farming, an industry that started in the 1870s and now accounts for 95 percent of the trout consumed worldwide.
“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,” noted dialogue steering committee member Matteo Leonardi of Troticoltura F.lli Leonardi in Trento, Italy.
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. Begun in 2008, standards-development process has included more than 300 farmers, conservationists, government officials, academics and other freshwater trout farming stakeholders.
Major revisions have been made to the FTAD standards following input received during and after the first public comment period, which ran from July 2010 to September 2010 and included a full stakeholder meeting in Verona in September 2010. Some changes made at that time were simplifying the standards to reduce complexity and costs and eliminating some of the third-party assessments that could 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 dialogue coordinator Christoph Mathiesen of Washington-based WWF, the world’s largest conservation organization. “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 given over to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) in The Netherlands to manage.
To review the draft freshwater trout standards and provide input, visit