Resource: Better than the Rest? A Resource Guide to Farmed Salmon Certifications

Authors / Publisher: Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR)

Date: April 2010

PDF: Better than the Rest? A Resource Guide to Farmed Salmon Certifications

Executive Summary:

Certification programs are playing an increasing role in helping consumers and businesses identify which products support improvements in environmental and/or social practices. In recent years, the seafood sector has seen a large range of eco-labels and certification schemes appear in the market. Salmon aquaculture alone has several certifications in the market and more on the way.

Unfortunately, not all certifications have the same degree of credibility, offer valid assurances of sustainability, or require the same rigour for standards development and implementation.To communicate effectively to businesses and consumers that sustainability concerns are being addressed, a standard’s logo—and the standards themselves—need to be trusted.
Both businesses and consumers face the challenging task of discerning which certifications reflect true improvements to environmental performance and which may be certifying products to weak standards, eco-certifying to an unrelated standard such as food-quality, or just making empty sustainability claims.

This resource guide helps you with that task by assessing the five major eco-certification schemes for farmed salmon now on the market, two others that will be appearing soon, and the organic labels in use and in development for farmed salmon. This guide also includes brief environmental assessments of three aquaculture production systems currently being explored: integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA), offshore aquaculture, and closed containment aquaculture.

More information on salmon farming is available here.