Last month (April 14) the USDA National Organic Program issued several
Guidance Statements that have a direct impact on the topic of national
organic standards for aquaculture products.
These guidance statements can be reviewed at:
This new information identifies the increasing importance for USDA approved national organic standards for aquatic animals (including farm-raised). The decision to allow fishmeal as a protein supplement in organic feeds for livestock also addresses what has been a critical issue for developing organic feeds for some aquatic species. There is also clear recognition that there are no USDA national organic standards presently for aquatic species and that new standards will build on the existing final rule and address only the unique requirements necessary to certify these specialized operations (aquaculture and others).
There have been numerous articles in the media recently on organic standards for imported aquatic species marketed in the US. With the world's largest market for organic certified agricultural products, importers of organic-certified products are targeting the US. Additionally, about one-half of the USDA accredited certifiers are companies outside of the US. Efflorts are underway to propose national organic standards for aquaculture operations that can hopefully lead to an approval by USDA's National Organic Program.