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Global shrimp and abalone aquaculture standards released for public comment

March 2, 2010

On March 1, 2010, the Aquaculture Dialogue standards designed to minimise the potentially negative impact shrimp and abalone aquaculture can have on the environment, farm workers and communities near aquaculture farms were posted for the first of two public comment periods. The draft standards are products of the Shrimp Aquaculture Dialogue and the Abalone Aquaculture Dialogue.

The Shrimp Aquaculture Dialogue and the Abalone Aquaculture Dialogue are two roundtables which include more than 500 people, among them aquaculture industry leaders, NGOs and scientists.

Pivotal moment for Aquaculture Dialogues

The start of the shrimp and abalone public comment periods represent a pivotal moment for the Aquaculture Dialogues, a set of eight roundtables working to create measurable and performance-based standards for responsible aquaculture. In addition to the shrimp and abalone draft standards reaching the critical public comment period phase, the Dialogues’ tilapia standards are final and the pangasius standards are expected to be completed in April. The Pangasius Dialogue has completed its public comment phase and will hold its final meeting in Vietnam this week.

The shrimp and abalone standards will be the first global standards for these species that are created through an open, transparent process that is aligned with the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance’s (ISEAL) guidelines for standard setting. The process encourages input from a broad and diverse group of people and ensures that their ideas will be considered by the full Dialogues.

Feedback received during the 60-day public comment periods will be used by each Dialogue’s Global Steering Committee to revise the draft standards before they are posted again for the last comment period. Final shrimp and abalone standards are expected by the end of this year.

Once finalised, all of the Dialogue standards will be amended periodically to reflect changes in science and technology, as well as to encourage innovation and continuous improvement. These revisions will be coordinated by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), which is being developed to manage the standards.

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