Aquaculture represents one of the most interesting activities in the organic sector. It has developed thanks to the entry into force of a dedicated community regulation (Reg. EC no. 710/2009, later incorporated into Reg. (EU) 2018/848 and subsequent integrations) and the growing demand for organic and high-quality fish products in major European markets.
The increasing consumption of fish, also driven by new global dietary habits, has led to the emergence and intensive development of many farms that produce low-quality final products, requiring significant external inputs of medicines and non-natural products for the growth and development of the farmed species. Organic aquaculture, on the other hand, is very attentive to the health and well-being of animals (as in other organic livestock activities), and the methodologies used ensure:
- spacious farming areas that allow well-oxygenated and good-quality water;
- freedom for fish to graze with densities more compatible with natural conditions;
- non-use of closed recirculation systems, where the effluents from a plant are reintroduced into the farming;
- facilities that respect the behavioral and physiological needs of the farmed fish species, limiting the onset of diseases and the related use of medications. Animal health management primarily aims at disease prevention.
WHAT DO FISH EAT IN ORGANIC FARMS?
Organic feed composed of ingredients from organic productions; if necessary, sustainable fishery products are incorporated into the feeds. Moreover, in organic fish farms, the use of preventive antibiotics, synthetic chemical substances, hormones, and hormone derivatives to artificially stimulate reproduction is prohibited. The management of organic aquaculture aims mainly to produce high-quality products obtained through techniques that allow animals to live healthy lives while respecting the needs of the species.