The industry-leading Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification program grew more than 15 percent in 2019, ending the year with 2,681 BAP-certified facilities in 39 countries, the Global Aquaculture Alliance announced in mid-January.
Of the 2,681 BAP-certified facilities, 1,833 are farms, 388 are processing plants, 49 are re-processors, 279 are hatcheries and 132 are feed mills. The 2,681 facilities represent 33 seafood species.
The 1,533 farms account for more than 2 million metric tons of annual production, the first time that the BAP program has topped 2 million metric tons at the farm level. That’s up an impressive 35.5 percent from a year ago. Shrimp is No. 1, with 852 BAP-certified farms accounting for more than 447,000 metric tons of annual production. Salmon, steelhead and trout are next at 410 BAP-certified active farms and more than 1 million metric tons of annual production (there are an additional 410 farms in fallow). Tilapia follows at 147 BAP-certified farms and more than 285,000 metric tons of annual production.
Additionally, there are now 257 companies qualified to offer four-star BAP seafood, meaning that the product originated from a BAP-certified processing plant, farm, hatchery and feed mill.
The BAP program experienced a lot of firsts again last year, including the world’s first sea cucumber producer (China’s Dalian Bangchuidao Seafood Co. Ltd.), the world’s first recirculating aquaculture system coho salmon farm (U.S.-based Finger Lakes Fish Inc.), Chile’s first salmon producer to earn BAP certification under the two-year BAP group audit (Salmones Multiexport S.A.) and Sri Lanka’s first BAP-certified producer (Oceanpick Pvt. Ltd.).
BAP also went through a major rebrand last year, including a logo redesign and a website redesign.
Administered by GAA, BAP is the world’s most comprehensive third-party aquaculture certification program, with standards encompassing environmental responsibility, social responsibility, food safety, animal health and welfare, and traceability. The BAP program covers the entire aquaculture production chain — processing plants, hatcheries, farms and feed mills. The BAP program is recognized by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative, Global Food Safety Initiative and Global Social Compliance Programme.
A division of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, Best Aquaculture Practices is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved performance standards for the entire aquaculture supply chain — farms, hatcheries, processing plants and feed mills — that assure healthful foods produced through environmentally and socially responsible means. BAP certification is based on independent audits that evaluate compliance with the BAP standards developed by GAA.