November 21, 2008
The USDA has approved criteria that allow farmed fish to be labelled as "organic".
The approved standards allow organic fish farmers to use wild fish as part of their feed mix provided it did not exceed 25 percent of the total and did not come from forage species.
The challenge now is to find out how to produce a healthy protein product with a proper regard to where the feed comes from, according to Wally Stevens, executive director of the Global Aquaculture Alliance.
Requiring organic operations to use feed made of trimmings from sustainable wild fish, such as Pollock, or from organic farm fish would be better than relying on the small wild fish currently in use, said George Leonard, a marine ecologist and aquaculture director for the Ocean Conservancy.