Best Aquaculture Practices known as BAP, is administered by Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) was organized in 1997 and it is the first aquaculture international certification program to be identified by the Global Food Safety Initiative and Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative. The GAA and BAP have devoted the past 20 years to feeding the whole world through responsible and sustainable aquaculture. It is the world’s most comprehensive third-party aquaculture certification program that encompasses the entire aquaculture production chain including farms, hatcheries, feed mills, and processing plants. To accomplish the Best Aquaculture Practices Certification, a facility must follow meticulous standards and requirements. The aim of GAA is to develop Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) to promote environmentally responsible aquaculture to meet food needs worldwide.
What is Aquaculture?
Aquaculture is a controlled process of cultivating aquatic organisms, particularly for human consumption. Recently, more than 50% of all seafood will come out from aquaculture for human consumption. The methods of aquaculture farms may vary from species to species. Basically, there are four stages of the production chain starting from hatcheries and ending at the seafood corner. Each of these stages may differ with respect to its effect on the environment and the safety and quality of seafood they develop. Fish farms had issues in the past with respect to four aspects of aquaculture. BAP program seeks to enhance the industry of fish farming worldwide. This is the only certification that covers every step of the supply chain.
Different stages of Aquaculture production
The Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program ensures producers use responsible practices at every step of the process. This includes hatchery, farm, feed mill, and processing plant. The breeding, hatching of eggs, and rearing of aquatic animals through the early stages happen in the first stage. Once, animals get mature enough transferred to farm, where they grow up completely to harvest size by utilizing feed developed at feed mills. After harvest, aquatic animals are sent to processing plants where they are packed and sent to grocery stores and food retailers.
Why choose BAP?
- Administered by Global Aquaculture Alliance.
- 100% compliance is required to obtain certification.
- Multi-stakeholder Standards Oversight Committee.
- Robust internal program integrity.
- BAP standards include classes that cover four pillars of responsible aquaculture including social accountability environmental responsibility animal welfare and food safety.
- It covers the entire aquaculture production chain including hatcheries, feed mills, farms & processing plants.
- Third-party benchmarking includes the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP), and Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).
Why choose BAP Certified food?
- BAP Label – BAP Certified food carries a white and blue label indicating that they are a socially responsible and eco-friendly seafood choice.
- High protein content – The most efficient form of animal protein is farmed fish rich in Vitamin D, protein, calcium, omega-3-fatty acids, and phosphorous are crucial for your brain and body.
- It’s traceable – use the BAP certification number on the package to find out where your seafood came from.
- BAP program is endorsed by retailers worldwide – Recently, more than 180 retail and foodservice brands across the world are committed to sourcing seafood responsibly from BAP-certified facilities.
- Support rural communities – More than 100 million people from fish farmers to processors and retailers for their livelihoods will depend on the Aquaculture industry.
- BAP standards cover the entire process – It covers virtually 100% of mollusk and crustacean species produced all over the whole world.
- 100% Compliance – facility must be 100% compliant to BAP standards is required to become certified.
- Wild fisheries – alleviating pressure on wild fisheries owing to increasing demands for seafood. You are assisting to relieve pressure and reduce the number of resources we draw directly from the ocean by purchasing farmed seafood.
BAP Certification includes audits to assure all facilities are complying with national and local laws following biosecurity protocols, endeavor for good community relations through not blocking access to natural resources or public lands, avoiding the utilization of wetland and mangrove areas, minimizing possible negative impacts on sediment quality in the area, monitoring water quality and food inputs to minimize the utilization of fish oil and fish meal, recording traceability, taking practical steps to prevent fish escapes and catering to overall animal health and welfare. Some separate manuals published by GAA outlining the specific BAP requirements for different steps in the supply chain include salmon farms, mollusk farms, crustaceans, finfish and mollusk hatcheries, food mills, seafood processing, and repacking plants.
In the past two years, the size of the Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP) program has been doubled demonstrating the commitment of the aquaculture industry to sustainable aquaculture. BAP standards are updated frequently and their certified facilities undergo audits to evaluate compliance in order to maintain BAP certification status.