Global Aquaculture Alliance launches BAP channel catfish standards
The Global Aquaculture Alliance, a leading global standards setter for aquaculture seafood, has completed its Best Aquaculture Practices certification standards for channel catfish farms. Facilities that raise channel catfish or blue catfish in ponds can now be BAP-certified through the Aquaculture Certification Council.
Hugh Warren, chairman of BAP’s Channel Catfish Technical Committee, said his committee unanimously approved the final draft of the standards. “I want to thank the committee members, who represent a wide-ranging cross section of the commercial channel catfish community,” he said. “We should see the benefit of their efforts soon.”
Warren said BAP certification will help channel catfish producers assure major aquaculture marketers — and consumers — that their products are wholesome and safe.
“A main goal of BAP is to deliver the best product that farmers can offer,” Warren said. “Likewise, we trust that educated consumers will quickly reach a level at which they recognize the certification mark and have confidence in their purchasing decisions.”
Farms certified in adherence to the BAP standards can use the BAP certification mark in advertising and on wholesale-level product labels. Integrated facilities can also use a BAP mark on retail packaging.
The new standards address farm practices related to a range of social, environmental and food safety issues, and include quantitative guidelines and auditing procedures by which to evaluate adherence to program criteria. Farms must, for example, minimize their use of chemicals and feed ingredients of marine origin, manage effluents and sediments, respect worker rights and comply with applicable regulations for resource use.
Implementation of the standards by the Aquaculture Certification Council combines site inspections, extensive record reviews and effluent sampling with required participation in an online traceability system that tracks fish from ponds to processing plants.
Although these BAP standards for channel catfish farms apply only to pond culture, other culture methods will be addressed in future standards revisions. Additional BAP standards are under development for feed mills and farms that raise Pangasius, tilapia and other fish species.
For additional information on Best Aquaculture Practices certification, contact BAP Standards Coordinator Daniel Lee: telephone +44-(0)-1248-712906, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To apply for BAP certification, visit the Aquaculture Certification Council website at www.aquaculturecertification.org.