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Final public comment period for Seriola and Cobia Aquaculture Dialogue draft standards

The second—and final—public comment period for the draft standards for Seriola and Cobia aquaculture is underway. Your comments are invited.

September 4, 2013

The second—and final—public comment period for the draft standards for Seriola and Cobia aquaculture began August 19, 2013.  WWF said the final standards will help minimize the potential negative environmental and social impacts associated with Seriola rivoliana, Seriola quinqueradiata, Seriola dumerili, Seriola lalandi and cobia aquaculture. 

The inaugural meeting of the Dialogue was held February 2009 in Seattle, Washington, USA. Two additional public Dialogue meetings have been held since then: September 2009 in Mexico and February 2013 in Japan. The next public Dialogue meeting will be in October 2013 in Japan.

Seriola and Cobia, also known as amberjack,yellowtail kampachi, hamachi and hiramasa, are large, carnivorous finfish known for their firm texture and rich flavor. They also are prized by sport fishermen, in part because they can weigh up to 90 pounds.

Seriola is farmed, mainly in Japan (where the industry started about 50 years ago) and Australia. The seriola aquaculture industry is set for significant growth. Most cobia is caught in the wild by sport fishermen. But the cobia aquaculture industry has started to grow over the past few years, particularly in West Virginia, Puerto Rico and Belize.

Seriola and cobia are usually produced in cages, some close to land and some in the open ocean. Several land-based tank trials also are underway with both fish species. Cobia is usually sold fresh and served in the form of grilled or poached fillets. Seriola is increasingly served raw in sushi.

You are encouraged to provide feedback on the draft standards by doing the following:

1. Review the draft standards

2. Send your feedback to Merrielle.macleod@wwfus.org by 11:59 p.m. EDT October 15, 2013.

The draft standards are the product of the Seriola and Cobia Aquaculture Dialogue, a roundtable created in 2009 that includes producers, conservationists, scientists, and others. The roundtable is coordinated by WWF. The Steering Committee that manages the Dialogue process will use all feedback received during the public comment periods to revise the standards. Final standards are expected by the end of 2013.

General guidelines for submitting comments:

• Include with the comments your full name and the name of the entity you represent.

• Group your comments together (e.g., general comments, comments for issue 1, comments for issue 2).

• Ensure that you fully understand each standard so that your comments are relevant.

• Your comments can be negative or positive but they must be constructive, clear and propose a solution to the issue raised.

• Keep your comments targeted to the standards.

• I f you comment on a particular word, phrase or sentence, provide the page number and/or section number for that item.

• Provide references to relevant documents you know of that support your comments.

Note: Commenting on the standards does not denote endorsement of the standards.

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