Development of a national organic standard started around 2009 through the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB). Three years later after several meetings, including many by conference call and one face-to-face gathering, and after two public comment periods, the Canada Organic Aquaculture Standard CAN/CGSB-32.312-2012 was published.

In December 2014, during the CGSB review of the organic agriculture standard, representatives from both the agriculture and aquaculture sectors formed a large working group to explore a possible merger. But in May 2015 the Agri/Aqua Organic Technical Committee decided against merger.

The draft merger document was, however, useful for the required five-year CGSB review when the organic aquaculture standard was updated in February 2018 as CAN/CGSB-32.312-2018.

The next step in the process is to help gain equivalency with organic standards from other countries. COSA is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and the Canadian Organic Trade Association (COTA), and others on negotiating equivalency.

If you have an interpretation question regarding the Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard (CAN/CGSB-32.312-2018), email your question to CFIA at:

Organic aquaculture is based on principles that support healthy practices. These principles aim to increase the quality and durability of the environment through specific management and production methods. The principles also focus on ensuring the humane treatment of animals.