GAA Directors Consider Integration of Best Aquaculture Practices with the Aquaculture Certification Council and new Responsible Aquaculture Foundation
Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) Executive Director Wally Stevens reported that the success of the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program is driving changes that will draw GAA together with the Aquaculture Certification Council (ACC) and new Responsible Aquaculture Foundation.
Since site inspections for BAP certification have passed to ISO-65-accredited bodies, closer cooperation between GAA and ACC would make administration of the BAP program more efficient through the sharing of support services. The pending charitable status of the RAF can help fund BAP standard-setting and training activities.
As the continued administrative and logistical manager for BAP certification, ACC will be renamed BAP Certification Management. The Responsible Aquaculture Foundation will house the BAP Standards Oversight Committee that oversees standards development and assume responsibility for the training of BAP auditors and educational outreach now carried out by ACC.
Continued progress in standards development and market reach was reported at the March Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) Standards Oversight Committee (SOC) meeting in Boston.
GAA Executive Director Stevens summarized the progress of BAP and said market demand for "two-star" product is driving new farm certifications, particularly at tilapia facilities. Additional processors are engaging in anticipation of the BAP salmon farm standards.
The BAP feed mill standards were approved pending final changes and review. Requested changes included a requirement that all fishmeal and fish oil sources be certified to International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation and Marine Stewardship Council guidelines within three years.
Progress continues on the BAP standards for salmon farms. Jon Bryan of the Tasmanian Conservation Trust has joined the Salmon Farm Technical Committee in its generation of draft standards.
An update on the Integrated Operating Module (IOM) program for multiple shrimp farms was provided. In IOMs, small farms with similar production methods and combined total annual production less than 4,000 mt can be grouped together. All undergo inspections and participate in traceability, but modified administration saves on certification costs.