How do third-party certifications control the use of antibiotics in global salmon aquaculture?
Elevancini, Juan Sebastian
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Since 1980 farmed salmon has become a vital food source and world commodity; however, the resulting increase in the use of antibiotics by the global aquaculture industry has raised health and environmental concerns, as well as the need for proper regulation. As a market-based solution, 3rd party certification schemes have gradually become an important player for the regulation of antibiotics used by salmon farms. Consequently, this study examined the three most common certification schemes adopted by salmon farms worldwide: Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP) and Global Good Agricultural Practices (GLOBALG.A. P.). The study centered in identifying their relevant standards, evaluating their approach in controlling the use of antibiotics, and subsequently revealing related weaknesses to mitigate the risks resulting from the use of antibiotics. Based on the literature, a set of 11 indicators was defined to grade the performance of each certification scheme. The analysis indicates that all schemes perform similarly within a 60.6% to 66.6% range. Identified weaknesses across schemes relate to standards covering the choice of antibiotics application method, monitoring of antibiotic residues in sediments, as well as bacterial/microorganism biodiversity. By improving these standards, schemes could buttress the regulation of antibiotics while continue to apply the precautionary principle to minimize the risks identified.
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