Trout is one of the oldest products offered by European aquaculture, being traditionally produced by small local farms that are firmly rooted in their home territory. Italy is one of the main producer, with an important internal market and exports to Germany and Switzerland. Trentino, in the North East of Italy, with plenty of pristine waters from the world famous Dolomites mountains – candidate as Unesco World Natural Heritage site -, is the main production area in Italy, with a tradition of trout farming dating back to 1879. Trentino’s trout was highly appreciated as delicacy also by the Court in Wien for their Royal banquets. The longstanding aquaculture tradition in Trentino could represent enough evidence of sustainability of production.
Family owned small scale producers took special proud introducing the independent and accredited certification auditors to the farming sites. All water parameters requested by the Friend of the Sea audit checklist are detected by a sonde which provides real time computerized information. The information is available to the single company but it is also collected by Astro – the cooperative representing and coordinating the producers. Astro supervised the compliance with specific water parameters which allow the trouts to also be branded as ‘Trentino’ quality.
Bycatch and interaction with birds and with the external area is avoided by a complete net protection encircling and covering the site and by double filters in the tanks. An alarm system would immediately alert the Civil Protection in case of floods. The farmed species would not possibly be able to reproduce in nature with the wild trout and does not represent a danger for the local population. The Trentino trouts are free of GMO and hormones. The fish feed currently originates only from fisheries approved by Friend of the Sea and the company is aware that it will be allowed to use only Friend of the Sea certified feed starting the first of July 2009. Estimated Feed Convertion Ratio is currently 1,2 – considered to be optimal for trout. Average stock density is kept at very low levels.
Most of the aquaculture sites are CO2 free as they use their own private hydroelectric, wind or solar power plants to cover all their very limited energy needs.
“Astro and the producers we represent in Trentino are proud of this international certification” comments Mr Diego Coller – Director of Astro “we feel we deserve to be distinguished from other trout producers worldwide because of our longstanding tradition, small scale and clean production”