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Rainbow trout (Bio)

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Second choice
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There are many species that belong to the Salmonids or (Protacanthopterygii). Did you know trouts, smelts, and even pikes belong to the Salmon family? Salmonids occur in either salt and freshwater. Most species are well-specialized predators and live in temperate climate zones.  Salmonids are ray-finned fishes and can be distinguished by the ‘fat-fin’ between the backfin and tail. They do not have spikes and the pelvic and pectoral fin are separated.

Salmonids are sold farmed and wildcaught. Wildcaught salmon comes from the Pacific. Almost all Atlantic salmon on sold is farmed. Since the 90s the farming of salmon increased dramatically. Norway, chile, Scotland, Canada and the Faroe islands are important farming countries for salmon. In both, wild-caught and farmed salmon problems in sustainability are prevalent.




Rainbow trout (Bio)

The rainbow trout belongs to the same family as the Pacific salmon. The native distribution of the rainbow trout ranges from south-west Canada to the north-western part of the USA. Some rainbow trout populations are anadromous. This means that they are born is freshwater and then migrate to sea to become mature. After a few years, the mature fish return to freshwater to reproduce. Rainbow trout can reach lengths of up to 115 cm long. As this species is both farmed and used for restocking fishing ponds, it can be found all over the world.  


Rainbow trout (Bio)

Oncorhynchus mykiss

Europe, inland waters

Farming- / Catch method

Raceways (Flow-through) organic, Pond system (organic)

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Source usage
Impact on the environment
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Rainbowtrout is not a naturally occuring species in Europe. This species was introduced for anglers.

Trout needs relatively large amounts of feed and the species is carnivorous. Therefore, the feed used contains relatively high amounts of [fishmeal] and [fishoil]. The feed ingredients used are sourced sustainably.

Fish welfare is an important factor for biologically produced fish. Also, the use of medicines, hormones and other chemicals are strictly regulated and the use of genetically modified ingredients is prohibited.

Biological trout is produced in pondsPonds:
A cultivation technique whereby fish is cultivated in ponds. This happens extensively (without additional feed) and intensive (with additional feed supplements). 
or flow-throughFlow-through:
A cultivation technique whereby water is led from a higher point to the cultivation basin. From here it flows to the drainage. This water must be cleaned thoroughly, otherwise it may have negative impacts on the environment.
systems. The density of fish in biological farms is low. To be able to receive a certificate for biological production, negative environmental impacts of the production must be reduced.

There are several certificates for biological production in Europe. Most common are the German ‘Naturland’ and the English “Soil-association’. Certificates and fish producers that comply with the European biological production standards can be recognized by the European Bio Label.

Fishing season

This assessment concerns a farmed species. Seasonal information is not relevant when it comes to fish from aquaculture farms.

ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.


Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.


There is fish available of this species that is farmed or caught using high welfare standards.


GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.


Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.