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Addendum to post from October 17, 2019

Addendum to post from October 17, 2019

November 4th, 2019


I want to thank my friends in fish for encouraging me to dive deeper and always be willing to learn. I was inspired by the level of passionate engagement my aquaculture post received, and believe that all the related conversations and challenges provide an opportunity to expand this discussion.


I was raised to be curious, conscious and concerned, and to stand up for what I believe in. As we know in fisheries and aquaculture, there are many ever-evolving issues, challenges and opportunities that co-exist. I want to fully understand the complexities of what may first appear black and white.


After listening to my community’s feedback on the post I want to address some key points. Although the post wasn’t focused on a single issue - namely open-net pen fish farming - it has boiled down to this perception. As a result of this feedback, I am even further committed to listening to all informed opinions, continuing ongoing research and ensuring greater clarity. 


With the climate crisis, the health of the planet, and food production gaining deserved public attention, I see the opportunities in responsible aquaculture as incredibly intricate and critically important. But I realize that I need to explain what I mean by the statement ‘I support responsible fish farming.’


In supporting responsible aquaculture (including fin fish, shellfish, seaweeds and aquaponics), I support aquaculture that is:


1: Scientifically supported with certifications that are third-party verified 

2: Ocean Wise recommended

3: Seafood Watch recommended

4: Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) or/and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certified

5: Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified (when and where wild fisheries are relevant in aquaculture)


I support the future introduction of Canada’s first-ever Aquaculture Act and I strongly support investment and research into technological improvements for aquaculture. Fortunately, in this industry, many of aquaculture’s innovations are linked to improved environmental and social performance, including an increased marketability. 


Globally, there is already a movement to transition away from ocean-based farms wherever there are unacceptable impacts on wild species or the environment to new, appropriately located sites and/or phasing in many of the emerging potential hybrid and closed-containment systems under development. Quite simply, the future of fish is complicated and ever-evolving.


Stay tuned for more deep dives, debates and dialogue around the globally inspired and locally created world of our food systems, and the concerns of our communities in the health of our lands, lakes, oceans and rivers. 


This blog and addendum reflect my personal views and don’t necessarily reflect those of my clients and peers.


Thank you,


Ned Bell 

Chef, Father, Advocate

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