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Organic certifications for Canadian fish farms unveiled by Sarah Schmidt May 09,2012   |  Source: Postmedia News

Canadian farmed fish can now be certified as organic with the release of made-in-Canada standards.

The inaugural Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard, to be released Thursday, prohibits the use of antibiotics, herbicides and genetically modified organisms, and severely restricts the use of parasiticides. The standard also sets measurable requirements for practices that minimize the impact of waste, including defining stocking rates, cleaning procedures and cleaning and feed materials that must be used.

The final standards, prepared by a special committee of the federal government's Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) and approved by the Standards Council of Canada, look different from a draft proposal released in 2010. The early draft was widely criticized by consumer advocates and environmentalists for proposing to permit the use of antibiotics and parasiticides at levels already being met by the conventional aquaculture industry.

Some opponents also argued that the concepts of organic and net-pen aquaculture are incompatible.

But the final version, while banning the use of antibiotics, still has critics, with one leading conservation group that voted against the final version as a member of the CGSB committee saying it "has as many holes as a net pen."

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© 2010-2012 Postmedia Network Inc.

Theme(s): Fisheries Development and Aquaculture.

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