Farmed Finfish Code of Practice - Progress Update

Second meeting – September 5 and 6, 2019

Since the May meeting, subcommittees from the Code Development Committee have been meeting by teleconference to develop preliminary Code content. This helped ensure better quality drafts were brought to the face-to-face meeting in September, which focused on the following four chapters of the draft Code of Practice: pre-transportation (e.g. assessing fitness for transport), feeding management (e.g. quality of feeds, feeding methods), health (e.g. health plans, skin and gill health), and husbandry (e.g. handling, grading). The co-Chair of the Scientific Committee presented the draft research report sections on lighting and feed withdrawal. 

At the end of day 2, the committee reviewed the input from the top-of-mind survey to confirm that insights from that outreach are being considered along the way. A comparison of international fish welfare standards was prepared and is also informing the committee’s discussions.

The committee also had a general discussion about the great diversity in the farmed fish sector and the importance of ensuring this Code is workable for all farms – small and large.

The next meeting has been scheduled for November.

First meeting – May 16 and 17, 2019

The inaugural meeting for this first-ever Canadian Code of Practice for Farmed Finfish was held in May. The objectives for this meeting were to provide committee members with an orientation to the Code development process and allow participants to get to know each other and establish specific approaches to reaching consensus.   

In addition, both the Code and Scientific Committees reached agreement on a final list of priority welfare issues for the Scientific Committee’s research report. They also reviewed a detailed analysis of a recent online survey on top-of-mind concerns for fish welfare (a synopsis of survey findings is available here). The committees were pleased the public and all stakeholders were engaged at this early stage and sees value in reporting back on how these top-of-mind concerns are addressed in the eventual Code.

The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance presented an overview of the industry today and participants offered insights on unique production and regulatory contexts across Canada.

tentative outline for the Code has been drafted:

  1. Hatcheries
  2. Enclosures
  3. Feeding management
  4. Health management
  5. Husbandry
  6. Euthanasia
  7. Transportation
  8. On-farm slaughter
  9. Mass depopulation

The next meeting has been scheduled for early fall.