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April 30th Deadline to Provide Input on Draft Shrimp Aquaculture Standards

WASHINGTON, DC: Two weeks remain in the first public comment period for the draft standards being created by the 500 plus participants of the Shrimp Aquaculture Dialogue. The standards will help minimize the shrimp farming industry’s environmental footprint, as well as its effect on farm workers and communities near aquaculture farms.

All feedback received during the 60-day comment period will be used by the Dialogue’s Global Steering Committee (GSC) to revise the draft standards before they are posted again for the last comment period. Final shrimp standards are expected by the end of this year.

“The Dialogue participants have done a tremendous amount of work to get to this point, but additional input from as many people as possible is needed to ensure that the final standards will be fair, credible, applicable and help change the way that shrimp farming is done,” said GSC member Marc Le Groumellec of Groupe UNIMA. “The public comment period is a great means for weighing in.”

To review the document and provide feedback before the April 30th deadline, go to www.worldwildlife.org/shrimpdialogue

Participation, through public comment periods and other means, by a broad and diverse group of people is what sets the Dialogue process apart from other efforts to create shrimp farming standards. Shrimp farmers (small- and large-scale), scientists, and representatives from environmental groups are among those involved in the Dialogue. They are encouraged to provide input and are ensured that their ideas will be considered.

The process is aligned with the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance’s guidelines for standard setting.

To engage people in the process, GSC members also are holding outreach meetings in key shrimp farming regions to discuss what types of standards would help transform the industry in a positive way. This includes meetings with small-scale shrimp farmers in India, Vietnam and Thailand; people who live near shrimp farms in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Brazil; government agencies that provide assistance to farmers; and seafood buyers from Europe.

The shrimp Dialogue is one of seven aquaculture roundtables convened by World Wildlife Fund. The roundtables will produce standards for 12 aquaculture species. The first set of standards – for tilapia – was completed in December 2009.

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