Everything organic – and the fish?

Everything organic – and the fish?

Everyone talks about animal welfare and thinks primarily of warm-blooded animals such as cattle, pigs and chickens. Many worry that the  fruit  and  vegetables you buy  might be genetically modified. But what about cold-blooded fish? Is there actually organic fish, how is it kept, what is fed, where can I buy it and are there any guidelines for this?

Organic quality fish

Although fish is a healthy food in itself   , there are differences in quality depending on the individual farmer. Just like in fattening and poultry farming, fishing companies often rely on “quantity instead of quality”; tanks too small for too many fish. The use of chemicals and antibiotics is also   questionable. In response, farming associations such as Bioland and Naturland agreed on guidelines for organic cultivation. Products with these seals offer advantages in terms of both quality and taste.

Less fat and firm to the bite

For example, antibiotics and insecticides are forbidden in “organic rearing”, so that there are fewer residues of these substances in organic fish than in conventionally farmed fish. Organic fish are also less fatty because they keep themselves fitter than “conventional” fish. They have more space in the pelvis and therefore more movement. They also get less high-energy feed. Another example: organic salmon according to Naturland guidelines is salted dry. The injection of brine into the  meat , which is otherwise customary with machine-processed salmon  , is not permitted. As a result, the organic salmon fillet contains less water and has a firmer bite.

The organic regulations in detail

  • The producers are committed to responsible and sustainable use of natural resources.
  • The fish live under natural reproductive conditions and are not given any hormones to stimulate them. If possible, they are kept in polycultures (different species of fish together).
  • The fish have more space to  swim  than with conventional housing.
  • The feed must come from recognized organic production, genetically modified feed and additives are not permitted. Exception: natural pigments (dyes), which are responsible for the pink coloring of the meat when keeping salmon.
  • Particularly high demands are placed on fishmeal.
  • For some fish species there are upper limits for feeding, eg the natural food supply in carp farming must account for at least half of the required amount of feed.
  • The use of antibiotics and insecticides is not permitted.
  • When using medication, the waiting times have to be doubled, with the positive result that the need for preventive measures is particularly great. When it comes to treatment, natural remedies are preferable.
  • In the case of processed fish products, the ingredients (e.g. oil or breading) come from organic farming and are marked accordingly in the list of ingredients.

New standards in fish farming

Organic fish farming has also established itself at EU level. New specifications ensure the quality of the product and ensure species-appropriate husbandry. Although environmental organizations such as Greenpeace complain that the EU directives are not strict enough, they are at least a step in the right direction.

Where can you buy organic fish?

You can buy organic fish in organic food shops, in fish shops and in supermarkets. It is more often offered processed, eg salmon and trout from organic farms are pickled (marinated) or smoked. Shrimp, mussels and salmon are available frozen. Wild-caught fish products are available as preserves (sardines, herring, tuna) and frozen goods such as gourmet fillets or fish fingers.

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