R.H. Ward (Welton) Ltd.’s tilapia farm, The Fish Company, in the United Kingdom is Europe’s first tilapia farm to attain Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification, the Global Aquaculture Alliance announced at Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, Belgium, on May 6. It’s also the United Kingdom’s first aquaculture farm to achieve the distinction.
Located in Welton Cliff, Lincolnshire, the farm, which has been in operation since 2007, earned BAP certification in April. The tilapia are reared in a centrally heated recirculating system inside in a custom-built 1080-square-meter facility heated by a waste-wood biomass boiler and partially powered by a 45-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array.
Currently, the company produces approximately 50 tons of tilapia annually but hopes to reach a full production capacity of approximately 100 tons in the near future. The fish are processed by B & L Filleting, a local, family-owned seafood-processing company in Grimsby, and are sold as gutted, whole round red tilapia to UK supermarkets under the “The Fish Company” brand.
“It has been essential for The Fish Company to maintain a standard of production in line with the stringent quality guidelines that consumers have come to expect,” said Richard Beckett of R.H. Ward. “Attaining the BAP certification provides assurances to our customers that our facility meets international quality standards and is an endorsement of our commitment to advanced, sustainable fish farming.”
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 the Global Aquaculture Alliance.