Role of industry

Aquaculture owners and operators and their associations play an active role in the sustainability of their industry by pursuing certification against internationally-recognized standards, implementing traceability programs and by funding and enabling scientific research. Individual aquaculture operators may also develop their own Codes of Practice in addition to those that may be required by some provincial governments.

Certification of farmed finfish and shellfish

Certification is a way of providing assurance that a product, process or service conforms to specified requirements or standards, which may be required by some markets as a condition of access. Aquaculture products can be evaluated according to a variety of internationally recognized standards which can take food safety, the environment, and organic production into consideration. To ensure a level of conformity amongst all these standards, the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) sets out Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification.

Companies opting to be certified usually undergo an intensive third-party audit to establish their compliance. The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Association has published a list of certified companies.

Traceability of farmed fish and shellfish

Traceability, defined as the ability to know where a product has been from “egg to plate,” is commonly used in certification programs. Tracing farmed fish and seafood as they travel through the supply chain demonstrates to consumers, retailers, and export markets that the products being purchased come from aquaculture operations that operate in a safe and sustainable way. Traceability also contributes to seafood safety, especially when, for example, food inspectors are able to locate products to inform recalls in case of a health concern.

Through the International Standardization Organization (ISO) TC234 Fisheries and Aquaculture Committee, Canada has been involved in the development of new international standards to create a common global platform for documenting traceability.

Science

Canadian aquaculture owners and operators and their associations contribute to scientific research and development projects ranging from fish health, nutrition, environmental interactions, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, production, and more. The Canadian Aquaculture R&D Review provides project descriptions from all across the country.

List of Industry Associations

Canada

Alberta

British Columbia

New Brunswick

  • Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association
  • New Brunswick Professional Shellfish Growers Association: phone (506) 336-4794 and email aqua@nb.aibn.com
  • New Brunswick Trout Farmers Association: phone (506) 273-2310 and email speckle@nb.sympatico.ca

Newfoundland and Labrador

Nova Scotia

Ontario

Prince Edward Island

Quebec