What is it about?
The purpose of this project was to evaluate standards and indicators for salmon aquaculture, with respect to sustainability from scientific, policy, and industry perspectives. In particular, the project looked at the frictions and fits between existent standards and the needs of the industry and society at large.
Why is it important?
Standards and indicators relevant to the aquaculture industry are generated at a variety of management levels: international, national, and industrial. Furthermore, these standards and indicators apply to the many different roles that aquaculture has in society, including: as an economic actor, a user of marine space, a user of renewable resources, a handler of animals, and as a food producer. Standards, regulations, and indicators are also being developed by a wide range of actors, in both the public and private sectors.
In short, the aquaculture industry is currently governed (at least on paper) by a vast web of norms, standards, rules, and regulations. Many countries have embraced the broad goal of “sustainability” which is generally attributed to three very broad aspects: ecological, economic, and social. This has led to the generation of regulations, standards, and indicators in these three general areas. The variety of opinions as to what sustainability or its various aspects actually mean, in turn, means
the multiplication of standards and indicators by which it may be measured and can result in
differing operationalizations and miscommunication.
Currently, we do not have an overview of the existing standards and indicators at various
levels and originating from multiple agencies, nor do we have insight into how aquaculture
companies implement and realize the numerous regulations, standards, and indicators available. If aquaculture is to ever achieve sustainability, we need to understand this more fully.