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Global Aquaculture Alliance Welcomes Public Comments on New BAP Catfish Standards

Drafts of the new Best Aquaculture Practices standards developed by the Global Aquaculture Alliance for the certification of channel catfish farms are now posted for public comment

December 10, 2007

Global Aquaculture Alliance Welcomes Public Comments on New BAP Catfish Standards
 
Drafts of the new Best Aquaculture Practices standards developed by the Global Aquaculture Alliance for the certification of channel catfish farms are now posted for public comment at www.gaalliance.org/comment2.html. Interested parties may submit comments by December 31 using the electronic form provided, or by fax or e-mail.
 
Two draft documents -- the standards/guidelines and accompanying inspection form -- are provided online in PDF format. The first file states 12 standards, as well as the reasons for their requirements and how best to comply with the standards. Through a simple scoring system, the draft audit form indicates how inspectors will evaluate channel catfish farms for compliance with the BAP standards.
 
The channel catfish standards include two sections not originally included in the BAP standards for shrimp farms. Standard 6 on fishmeal and fish oil conservation says that catfish farms must accurately monitor feed inputs and minimize their use of fishmeal and fish oil derived from wild fisheries. Farmers shall record the characteristics of all feeds used and calculate average annual feed-conversion ratios and “fish in:fish out” ratios.
 
Standard 10 on animal welfare specifies that producers must demonstrate that all farm operations that involve fish are designed with animal welfare in mind. Employees shall be trained to provide appropriate levels of husbandry.
 
Through technical committees, additional BAP standards are under development for Pangasius farms and facilities that raise tilapia and other fish species. The Global Aquaculture Alliance is also working to complete BAP standards for aquaculture feed mills.
 
All comments received during the public comment period will be carefully considered by the Channel Catfish Technical Committee for inclusion in the final standards. All properly submitted comments will be acknowledged.

For additional information on the comments process and Best Aquaculture Practices certification, contact BAP Standards Coordinator Daniel Lee: telephone +44-(0)-1248-712906, e-mail dangaelle@aol.com.

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