Beaver Street Fisheries, a leading U.S. seafood importer, and Marine Gold Products Ltd. of Thailand, a leading shrimp processor, have sponsored nine shrimp farms in southern Thailand’s Surat Thani province that are the latest aquaculture facilities to enroll in the Best Aquaculture Practices’ (BAP) iBAP program.
The farms are administered by the Surat Thani Shrimp Farmers Club. This is the first set of farms that are active members of the Surat Thani Shrimp Farmers Club to enroll in iBAP.
The farms, which represent 1,150 metric tons of shrimp production, will pursue BAP group certification when they graduate from the iBAP program.
Marine Gold is eligible to offer four-star BAP shrimp as its processing plant, farms, hatchery and feed mill are BAP certified; it’s the highest designation in the BAP third-party certification program.
“Surat Thani was hit hard with EMS a few years back, so our goal is to start with a manageable number of farms, and see them through certification. The ultimate goal is to grow this model with the Surat Thani Shrimp Farmers Club, and to share with the industry the great aquaculture story that exists with these famers. When you visit this part of the world, it is plain to see the Surat Thani farmers are a very prideful group who are extremely passionate about their farming techniques, and want very much to be known as a world leader in shrimp farming,” said Beaver Street in a statement.
“Beaver Street and Marine Gold are quietly, but very effectively, demonstrating their commitment to responsible aquaculture in Thailand. Their knowledge and understanding of the farmers’ hard work and challenges allow them to value better their product,” said BAP Global Business Development Manager Marcos Moya. “We are sure this is the beginning of a long route of successful improvement of the farmers in Surat Thani.”
Launched in early 2015, the iBAP program is designed to provide assistance and encouragement to aquaculture facilities interested in pursuing Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification. Facilities that enroll in iBAP agree to a step-by-step, deadline-driven improvement plan. iBAP incentivizes facilities to make the improvements necessary to apply for BAP certification.
Currently, 48 processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mill from 10 countries worldwide are enrolled in the BAP program. They represent four species (shrimp, salmon, tilapia and crawfish) as well as aquaculture feed. So far, more than 60 aquaculture facilities have graduated from the iBAP program.
A division of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, Best Aquaculture Practices is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved global 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.