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Currently U.S. organic standards do not exist for either wild-caught or farm-raised fish. However, the Organic Foods Production Act does include seafood, making the creation of organic standards possible. In response to growing interest and pressure to develop standards, the National Organic Program (NOP) created an Aquatic Working Group (AWG) in 2005 composed of knowledgeable members of the aquaculture and organic communities. AWG worked to create a report that would inform NOSB the creation of a recommended standard. Upon receipt of the AWG report, the NOSB Livestock Committee developed standards for organic aquaculture and released formal recommendations in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

In May of 2012, the National Organic Program announced in a memo that they expected this rulemaking process for aquaculture to take place “over the next two years.” In anticipation of this rulemaking, NOP received a number of petitions for substances to be added to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) for use in organic aquaculture. Because these petitioned substances must be reviewed by the NOSB, NOP asked NOSB to review the petitioned substances for potential addition to the National List. The document formally asks NOSB to review the petitions about what substances might be allowed under the program.

In spring 2014, NOSB released several recommendations addressing the petitioned materials. The recommendations were tabled in response to public comments that unanimously asked that a vote on the materials be tabled until aquaculture standards are released.

Final Recommendation on Aquaculture 2007 Final Recommendation on Aquaculture on Fish Feed & Related Issues 2008 Final Recommendation on Aquaculture on Net Pens & Related Issues 2008 Final Recommendation on Bivalves and Molluscan Shellfish November 2009

Scott Rice

Sr. Director, Regulatory Affairs

(202) 695-1268