The expert workshop on guidelines for aquaculture certification was organised by FAO and NACA, and hosted by the Government of Brazil, in response to the recommendations of the Aquaculture Sub-committee (ASC) of the FAO Committee on Fisheries. The workshop was the second in a series of expert meetings to assist the development of guidelines for aquaculture certification. The workshop was attended by 57 participants from 13 countries, including several major aquaculture producing and consuming nations. The participants included experts from government agencies, private business, experts involved in certification schemes and food safety, and non-government organisations.
The workshop gave stakeholders in the Americas a unique opportunity to get together with international stakeholders to discuss certification and in particular the development of the draft FAO/NACA guidelines for aquaculture certification. The workshop participants worked in groups to further develop and build consensus on the guidelines. The process and the development of the guidelines were supported by all participants and it was agreed to continue the process to develop the guidelines document further after the workshop.
The workshop recommended that there is a strong need for an aquaculture certification guideline document to inform and guide stakeholders towards responsible and sustainable aquaculture. The first draft guideline document based on the meeting in Bangkok, Thailand in March 2007 is a good base to further develop the guidelines. Overall the guidelines are on the right track but more work and stakeholder input is still needed to finalise the document. The workshop noted that it is important to have a set of minimum requirements in the final version of the guidelines document. A number of comments related to this chapter in the guidelines were given at the Brazil workshop and the chapter should be developed along these recommendations and comments.
It was recommended that more expert workshops were held before the final draft submitted to the FAO Aquaculture Sub Committee of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI).
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