In a year wrought with challenges and disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Aquaculture Alliance applauds its supporters for remaining committed to responsible aquaculture and the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification program. In 2020, the BAP program grew 10.7 percent, ending the year with 2,918 BAP-certified facilities in 39 countries, GAA announced on Jan. 11.
Of the 2,918 BAP-certified facilities, 2,030 are farms, 399 are processing plants, 51 are processing plants engaged in re-processing, 299 are hatcheries and 139 are feed mills, and an additional 364 BAP-certified facilities are farms are currently in fallow. The 2,918 facilities represent 29 seafood species.
The 1,666 farms currently in operation report more than 2.5 million metric tons of annual production, an impressive 27 percent jump from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020. Salmon is No. 1 at 1.35 million metric tons of annual production, followed by shrimp at 571,628 metric tons, tilapia at 289,991 metric tons and mollusks (mussels, clams and oysters) at 135,302 metric tons.
Once again the BAP program accomplished a number of firsts again in 2020, including Europe’s first company to earn four-star BAP status (Scottish Salmon Company), Australia’s first company to offer four-star BAP prawns (Seafarms Group Ltd.), the world’s first company to offer two-star BAP crayfish (Deyan Aquatic Products & Food Co. Ltd.) and Norway’s first salmon farm to earn BAP certification (Kvaroy Fiskeoppdrett).
These accomplishments came despite an extremely challenging and disruptive year for aquaculture producers with the COVID-19 pandemic. To accommodate its valued customers while still helping them meet their sustainability goals in 2020, the BAP program pivoted to accredited remote auditing (full or partial) for farms, hatcheries and feed mills. Between April 3 and Aug. 21, 239 remote audits, including 66 pilots, were successfully conducted. By Oct. 2, 324 remote audits, including six pilots for processing plants, were successfully conducted. A month later, GAA rolled out remote auditing for processing plants, which can now selected one of three auditing opportunities — onsite (full or partial), full remote or enhanced remote.
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.