A record 74 new processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills attained Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification in June, the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) has announced.
The monthly record came as the number of BAP-certified facilities worldwide reached 1,290 at the end of June. That amounted to an impressive 22 percent increase during the first half of 2016.
Of the 74 new facilities that attained BAP certification in June, five are processing plants, 55 are farms, 12 are hatcheries and two are feed mills. Over the first half of 2016, 26 processing plants, 195 farms, 34 hatcheries and 17 feed mills attained BAP certification for the first time.
The growth is attributed to a number of internal and external factors. Internally, the introduction in early 2015 of the iBAP program, a precursor to BAP certification, has helped facilities better prepare for full BAP certification. More than 60 facilities have navigated the deadline-driven iBAP program and applied for full BAP certification.
Externally, the farmed shrimp industry’s rebound from early mortality syndrome has helped result in a 43 percent increase in the number of BAP-certified shrimp farms over the first half of 2016, as more farms come back online. There are now a total of 306 BAP-certified shrimp farms.
The number of BAP-certified tilapia and salmon farms also increased over the first half of 2016 by 21 percent and 10 percent, respectively. There are now a total of 81 BAP-certified tilapia farms and 329 BAP-certified salmon farms. In terms of volume, as of the end of June, a total of 330 BAP-certified processing plants annually yield 1.78 million metric tons of product. That’s compared with 1.45 million metric tons as of the end of December 2015, a 23 percent increase.
BAP is the world’s leading third-party aquaculture certification program. It’s also 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.
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.