Organic aquaculture products

Under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), organic certification requirements apply to aquaculture products. Organic aquaculture products, including seaweed products, are required to comply with the Organic Aquaculture Standard CAN/CGSB-32.312 Organic Production Systems – Aquaculture – General principles, management standards and permitted substances lists incorporated by reference in the SFCR. An aquaculture product that is sent or conveyed from one province to another or that is imported and that is labelled with an organic expression must be certified by a CFIA accredited Certification Body. For more information on organic certification bodies, please visit Certification bodies providing organic certification services under the Canada Organic Regime.

If the product meets the certification requirements it could also display the Canada Organic Logo on the label when sold within or outside of Canada.

Aquaponic products

With the incorporation by reference into the SFCR of CAN/CGSB-32.312 Organic Production Systems – Aquaculture – General principles, management standards and permitted substances lists, there is potential overlap of organic commodities certified under this standard and of organic commodities certified under the CAN/CGSB-32.310 Organic Production Systems – General principles and management standards. Some fruits and vegetables may be certified as organic if they meet the requirements of either standard. Therefore, from a regulatory perspective, there is no distinction between an organic product grown through aquaculture practices or agriculture practices. For example, a tomato produced  following aquaculture practices and a tomato produced following  agriculture practices, provided it meets the requirements prescribed in their specific standards, will be certified and can be labelled as organic with no distinctions.

In order to provide consumers with accurate information when making their purchases, producers may include voluntary information on the label of these commodities about which specific organic certification standard their product was certified under, as long as labelling requirements for organic products are met.

Equivalency arrangements for aquaculture products

Organic aquaculture products are not within the scope of all Canada's current equivalency arrangements with other countries for organic products.

As of January 15, 2021 the exporters of organic aquaculture products from countries with which Canada does not have an organic equivalency arrangement for organic aquaculture products have to find suppliers that meet Canadian organic requirements.

The US-Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement covers the trade of organic seaweed products including chlorella and spirulina certified under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic regulations (7 CFR 205) or Canada Organic Regime (COR) organic agriculture standard (Organic production systems: general principles and management standards, CAN/CGSB-32.310) (2020-12-21 – Notice to the Canadian organic industry regarding trade of seaweed, chlorella and spirulina under the United States-Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement).

Historically, Canadian exports of organic seaweed certified to the agriculture standard, have been accepted by the EU under the existing EU-Canada organic equivalency agreements. CFIA allows organic seaweed traded between Canada and the EU to continue to be certified to the agriculture standard (32.310) to prevent trade disruptions while work continues on equivalency with EU.


Aquaculture products have the same meaning as in the Canadian General Standard Board standard CAN/CGSB-32.312:

Aquaculture products are crops and livestock, or a product wholly or partly derived therefrom, cultivated in a controlled or managed aquatic environment. The products of fishing of wild animals are not considered part of this definition.