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New Atlantic salmon standards set by G.A.P.

On June 7, World Oceans Day, Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.) announced their new farmed Atlantic Salmon Standards and Certification Program, enabling the organisation to impact on the lives of millions of Atlantic salmon farmed annually – representing approximately 70 percent of salmon produced a year.

Having developed standards for nine animal species including chickens, turkey, beef cattle, pigs, lambs, laying hens, bison and goats, aquaculture was considered “a next natural step,” the company explained in a press release. G.A.P. have created a fish welfare programme to “put the animal first” and is relevant to all sizes and types of operations across the supply chain.

The farmed Atlantic salmon standard was developed with a multi-stakeholder approach, working with farmers, scientists, retailers and NGOs to create a comprehensive standard with scoring systems for monitoring and management. It aims to focus on welfare throughout the fish’s life cycle, from hatch to harvest. This includes slaughter facilities, which must pass a G.A.P. welfare audit to be certified.


The standard includes:

  • Enrichments at all life stages
  • Stocking density requirements
  • “Cleaner fish” care and management
  • Daily water quality monitoring
  • Non-lethal predator control
  • Skin and body conditioning monitoring
  • Slaughter requirements

“G.A.P.’s new salmon standard is a game changer in terms of animal welfare in the aquaculture industry,” explains Catalina Lopez-Salazar, Director of the Aquatic Animal Alliance at the Aquatic Life Institute. “It will provide much-needed guidance, support and accountability to a sector that has faced major animal welfare concerns. We are thrilled to see a standard that is so comprehensive in its animal welfare indicators and hope that this can serve as a catalyst for other standard-making bodies.”

“Fish are sentient animals capable of suffering and feeling pain, so it’s important we protect their welfare. The new G.A.P. standards for Atlantic salmon are now the highest and most comprehensive available,” says Ben Williamson, US Director of Compassion in World Farming. “While a ban on the use of cleaner fish in salmon farms remains a long-term goal of Compassion in World Farming, G.A.P.’s requirements for humane slaughter, environmental enrichment and the prohibition of detrimental sea lice treatments are all welcome additions.”

He went on to add, “This is also the first time we’ve seen bans on lethal and injurious predator control methods for any species at this scale.”

The new standards set influence petfood producers, who are striving to ensure their petfood is sustainable and ethically produced. In recent news, petfood producer The Honest Kitchen announced that several of their recipes had become G.A.P.-certified, which can be read about HERE.

Sustainable sourcing of fish was a hot topic recently as Mars Pet Nutrition Europe announced that 100 percent of the fish used in their petfood is sustainably sourced. This can be read about HERE.

For more information on G.A.P. visit their website, HERE.



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