Best Aquaculture Practice scheme logo. (Image: BAP)
BAP program earns GSSI recognition
Wednesday, October 04, 2017, 22:50 (GMT + 9)
The Global Aquaculture Alliance’s (GAA) Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program has become the first certification scheme to earn Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) recognition.
The GSSI Steering Board has approved the recognition, determining that the two-star certification against the BAP Finfish and Crustacean Farm Standards and BAP Salmon Farm Standards are in alignment with all Essential Components of the GSSI Global Benchmark Tool, independently verifying alignment with the FAO Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification.
“It is particularly important for a global program like BAP because it signifies compliance with the internationally agreed-upon UN FAO Guidelines,” pointed out BAP Standards Coordinator Dan Lee.
The GSSI Global Benchmark Tool encompasses three aspects of the BAP program: the technical content of the standards, the management of the program and the governance of the program, including the integrity of chain of custody and procedures for group certification.
The scope of recognition applies to two-, three- and four-star BAP certification for the respective standards. As such, the traceability components of the BAP Seafood Processing Plant Standards were checked, and GAA submitted its procedures for group certification in support of the benchmarking process.
In addition to environmental responsibility, the BAP standards also address social responsibility, animal health and welfare, food safety and traceability.
There are six sets of BAP standards: Finfish and Crustacean Farm Standards, Salmon Farm Standards, Mollusk Farm Standards, Hatchery and Nursery Standards, Feed Mill Standards, and Seafood Processing Plant Standards.
“We are pleased to receive this recognition of our Best Aquaculture Practices program. The BAP program was first implemented in 2003 and this year will reach a milestone of 2,000 certified facilities around the world with anticipated farm-gate production exceeding 2 million metric tons,” said GAA Executive Director Wally Stevens.
GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool, launched in October 2015, was developed over a three-year, multi-stakeholder process involving environmental NGOs, businesses, independent experts, governmental and intergovernmental organizations, alongside two public consultations and a pilot test.