bigdaddy

What is required for aquaponics to be certified organic?

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Hi everyone

I hear grandious talk about aquponics being organic.

I thought we would have a thread to talk about it here.

The first thing I think we should do is to ask some questions. Feel free to ask more if you think it would add to the discussion.

  1. What is aquaponics?
  2. What is organic?
  3. What is the difference between organic and certfied organic?

After we discussed what is required I would like to hear people's opinion on wheather they feel they could practiably apply it to their situation.

Cheers

Edited by bigdaddy (see edit history)

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I'll start.

1. My understanding is aquaponics is the mereger of both hydroponics and aquaculure.

2. In this context, I think organic is growing produce according to a particular standard but not being answerable to anyone.

3. Certified organic is growing produce to a particular standard being answerable to governing authorties.

Cheers.

 

 

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Hi BD,

Quote

 

What is required for aquaponics to be certified organic?

 

 

As long as we're talking about moutains of Styrofoam and acres of PVC troughs (which covers most commercial aquaponics operations).....a miracle!

And rightly so, in my mind.   What's even remotely sustainable about most commercial aquaponics as it's currently practised?

Gary

 

 

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Hi Gary,

I may be wrong, but isn't sustainability (which is a great way to go IMO) different to reqirements for certified organic? Or to become certified organic, do you have to prove suitable sustainability as well?

Cheers

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In the U.S. the federal government establishes the regulations concerning what can be certified as organic, but the government doesn't do the actual certifying of an operation. The inspection and certification of a given operation is done by an independent organisation, which is authorized by the government to perform certifications. Different certifying organisations have different policies regarding what they will certify; many will not certify an aquaponic system of any design, saying that if it isn't in soil, it isn't organic.  The regulations don't actually require soil for organic certification though, so there are certified organic aquaponic operations.

All organic certifications still have to abide by the list of allowed materials for their operation.  Some materials are strictly prohibited, like many synthetic pesticides and herbicides, but there are some materials that are allowed or disallowed according to how they are used. I believe many plastics are materials that are allowed as a container, but disallowed as a growing medium. This means that a DWC with styrofoam rafts can be certified, but the grow towers that Bright Agrotech uses cannot because they are stuffed full of shredded plastic refuse.

The only major benefit of being "Certified Organic" in the US is the authorization to label your produce as "Organic" for market. Even if you grow organically, you can't market the produce as "Organic" without certification. As far as I know, there is not yet certification criteria for fish, so only the plant side of an Aquaponic system actually gets certified, more or less.

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Hi MTM

 

19 minutes ago, MT Mind said:

I As far as I know, there is not yet certification criteria for fish, so only the plant side of an Aquaponic system actually gets certified, more or less.

We have had it in Norway/EU for around 20 years, the certifying bodies are recogniced by USDA .

Criterias for certification has been changed at least 3 times over those years, that I know of, we also disscused it on here a few years back.

here is a few  Norwegian standards http://www.villaseafood.com/our-products/organic

cheers

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On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2016 at 7:10 PM, bigdaddy said:

Hi everyone

I hear grandious talk about aquponics being organic.

I thought we would have a thread to talk about it here.

The first thing I think we should do is to ask some questions. Feel free to ask more if you think it would add to the discussion.

  1. What is aquaponics?
  2. What is organic?
  3. What is the difference between organic and certfied organic?

After we discussed what is required I would like to hear people's opinion on wheather they feel they could practiably apply it to their situation.

Cheers

So for growing using Aquaponics, you will have to contend with 2 main Organic rules for.
1. Livestock/Aquaculture
2. Hydroponics
 
Plus a lot of Rules and Regulations, and don't forget the paperwork,  you will have to hire a part-time employee to do it.

Livestock/Aquaculture Subcommittee

The Livestock Subcommittee (LS) drafts recommendations for consideration by the Board to provide guidance, clarification or proposed standards of the livestock and livestock feed sections of the organic regulations as contained in [7CFR Part 205] and OFPA.

The LS reviews petitions, substances scheduled to sunset, technical advisory panel reports and public comments concerning materials used for livestock production which have been requested for addition to or removal from the National List.

The LS occasionally works with other subcommittees to develop joint recommendations where livestock issues are involved.

Proposals

Hydroponics Task Force Update

Two members of the Hydroponic and Aquaponic Task Force attended the NOSB meeting to provide an update on their work in preparing a report to the Board. Their presentation highlighted the two key perspectives that will be presented in the task force’s report.

The first perspective distinguished "bioponic" systems from traditional hydroponic systems, and described how bioponic production can align with the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) and the USDA organic regulations. According to some task force members, bioponic production is unique because these systems use the same inputs, processes, and principles as organic soil-based growing.

Under this perspective, the key characteristic that makes bioponics compliant with organic production standards is that plants derive nutrients from plant and animal materials in water, which are released by the same biological processes as those which occur in soil.

The opposing perspective illustrated how hydroponic and bioponic systems do not align with the regulations or the founding principles of organic agriculture. According to this perspective, good soil management and soil health should be the principal source of fertility for plants, and various requirements in the regulations make this clear.

The task force plans to submit its report to the NOSB in June 2016. The NOSB will use this report to make an additional recommendation to AMS. Based on NOSB’s recommendation, AMS will determine how to move forward to establish a clear policy on the issue.

AND MORE PAPERWORK.

 

 
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On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2016 at 10:45 PM, bigdaddy said:

Hi Gary,

I may be wrong, but isn't sustainability (which is a great way to go IMO) different to reqirements for certified organic? Or to become certified organic, do you have to prove suitable sustainability as well?

Cheers

Sustainability
Among the many ways that sustainability has been defined, the simplest and most fundamental is: “the ability to sustain” or, put another way, “the capacity to endure.”
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