International seafood certification standards on eyestalk ablation
Various international seafood certification standards have required eyestalk ablation to be banned.
Point 184.108.40.206 of Part III of Annex II to Regulation (EU) 2018/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 on organic production and labelling of organic products reads as follows:
“Eyestalk ablation, including all similar practices such as ligation, incision and pinching, is prohibited.”
In April 2022, GLOBALG.A.P published the Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) standard version 6 for aquaculture. The newest version of this flagship standard of GLOBALG.A.P becomes obligatory from 1 January 2024. The standard requires that from no later than April 2024, larvae may only be sourced from shrimp females which have not suffered eye ablation (or any other type of physically invasive method for inducing breeding).
Article 3.2 of Naturland Standards on Organic Aquaculture version 05/2023 reads as follows:
“The manipulation of eyestalks (ligation, ablation, or similar measures), and the use of larvae which have been produced using this method, are prohibited.”
Considering that consumers in key import markets such as the UK and EU are becoming more concerned about animal welfare, it is expected that more international seafood certification standards will require eyestalk ablation to be banned. The industry, therefore, will inevitably transition towards better welfare for shrimps. Going ablation-free throughout your supply chain, therefore, is the way forward for your business.