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Reference instrument to evaluate seafood certifications and their effectiveness towards aquatic animal welfare requirements

The Aquatic Life Institute has printed a publicly accessible instrument that assesses the animal welfare requirements of a few of the greatest recognized world aquaculture certification schemes.

[June 23, 2022] – Aquatic Life Institute carried out a complete analysis of animal welfare requirements for six of essentially the most outstanding certifications within the aquaculture trade. These certifiers included the World Animal Partnership (GAP), RSPCA Assured, Naturland, Good friend of the Sea, World GAP and Finest Aquaculture Practices (BAP). Certifications are extensively utilized by the aquaculture trade to confirm practices carried out on farms. Sadly, till very not too long ago, most certification labels didn’t embody significant animal welfare interventions, focusing solely on points comparable to environmental affect or meals security, and excluding particular person animal welfare concerns. Nonetheless, shoppers are more and more searching for transparency from the aquaculture trade, as many circumstances of poor animal welfare circumstances have been uncovered on farms world wide, together with farms licensed underneath well-known schemes.

It’s essential for the aquaculture trade to forestall humane laundering, which is the apply of creating a deceptive declare in regards to the remedy of animals or the circumstances through which they’re born, raised or killed. Subsequently, the implementation of significant and accountable animal welfare interventions is crucial and can lead to advantages for animals, the atmosphere and public well being alike. In consequence, the Aquatic Life Institute (ALI) has been engaged with certification schemes for over 2 years, to make sure that the usual language is up to date to incorporate animal welfare. ALI launched an aquaculture certification benchmark instrument that analyzes the present welfare necessities inside every farming normal and highlights the areas of alternative that exist for important enhancements in welfare.

Areas of analysis embody environmental enrichment, area necessities and stocking density, beautiful and slaughter, feeding practices, and water high quality. The report acknowledges the not too long ago printed World Animal Partnership Atlantic Salmon Welfare Normal as essentially the most complete welfare normal up to now. This normal incorporates the newest science-based interventions to enhance the welfare of farmed salmon. Licensed amenities should embody enrichment in any respect life levels, adhere to strict stocking density limits, monitor water high quality every day, and cling to applicable beautiful and slaughter necessities. It additionally features a novel ban on bugs in feed for farmed fish. Insect farming is a doubtlessly vital trade of concern attributable to unknown penalties for animal welfare and destructive environmental impacts all through the manufacturing cycle.

“This benchmark will show to be a helpful instrument for any meals enterprise throughout their seafood buying decision-making course of. It’s going to assist them make extra knowledgeable selections about licensed merchandise coming into their provide chain and permit the general public to be higher knowledgeable about practices related to seafood manufacturing. The instrument can even assist certification schemes which can be lagging behind in aquatic animal welfare, by shedding mild on enhancements that can enable them to stay related.”says Catalina López, director of the Aquatic Animal Alliance

The benchmark shall be up to date yearly, with future editions evaluating extra certification schemes and measuring further areas of concern.

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