Farmed Salmon Gets A Global Regulation

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Buying sustainable fish just got a little easier. First Whole Foods banned any "red-labeled" fish from its stores. And now the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (A.S.C) has released global standards for farmed salmon.

The new guidelines are expected to be implemented later this year, meaning you could see "A.S.C. Certified" salmon on the shelves by 2013. This is meant to address some of salmon farming's major ills like the overuse of antibiotics, pollution of surrounding waters and failure to keep fish from escaping into the wild.

Coming to an agreement on the standards was hardly easy — debates between scientists, environmentalists, business executives and government officials went on for eight years. But their final agreement will enable shoppers to easily identify "A.S.C. Certified" salmon by a new aqua-colored logo with a big white check in the middle of it. Consumers can rest assured that the fish will only receive A.S.C's label if the farmer has complied with 100% of the regulations.

Considering that consumers in the Western world eat more farmed salmon than any other finfish (as Paul Greenberg points out in Four Fish), the regulations are greatly needed to help shoppers make informed decisions.

See the A.S.C.'s complete list of standards here.