Aquaculture for all

BAP Success at Boston Seafood Show


US - Enthusiastic activity at the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) and Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) booths during the International Boston Seafood Show reflected continued expansion of the BAP farmed seafood certification programme.

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"The interest in the BAP programme we received in Boston was very positive, and the BAP team lined up several facilities to be inspected over the next several months," BAP Director William More said. "This was probably our best Boston show since we began promoting the BAP programme in 2003."

Mr More said eight new plants and nine new farms committed to BAP certification during the show, and additional leads are being pursued. The commitments came from five shrimp farms in India, as well as salmon farms in Canada and Chile, and a tilapia farm in Brazil. Representing several species, the plant applicants are located in China, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Mexico and Canada.

As of 15 March, the 100 facilities - 42 plants and 58 farms - pending BAP certification reflected more than double the number of applicants in February 2011.

Meijer made an announcement on its support of BAP just prior to the Boston show. Several other major retailers then used the show as a platform from which to announce their associations with Best Aquaculture Practices certification.

Supervalu, one of the United States' largest retailers, said it has adopted BAP certification for its aquaculture procurement policy. The move means that fish and shrimp bearing the BAP mark will be available at thousands of Acme, Albertsons, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher's, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Save-A-Lot, Shaw's/Star Market, Shop 'n Save and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy locations across the US.

BJ's Wholesale Club also announced its commitment to sustainable seafood through its alignment with BAP. From fresh fish to frozen value-added seafood, BJ's seafood partners must take steps to responsibly source seafood for its 195 clubs and 107 gas stations in the eastern US.

The Global Aquaculture Alliance develops the Best Aquaculture Practices standards upon which BAP certifications are based. In addition to sharing information about BAP, GAA staff promoted the international organisation's upcoming GOAL 2012 seafood marketing conference in Bangkok, Thailand, and distributed copies of the Global Aquaculture Advocate magazine. Conversations at the booth involved all levels of the farmed seafood industry, from aquaculture producers and suppliers to distributors and retailers.

Before the show opened, the BAP Standards Oversight Committee met to consider, among other issues, the crafting of a "core" set of standards that apply to shrimp, tilapia, catfish and Pangasius farms. Additional "add-on" standards specific to the culture of the individual species would also be considered in audits and certification.

"With all this activity, we are clearly making a difference in the aquaculture industry," GAA Executive Director Wally Stevens said. "As 2012 further unfolds, GAA will continue to spread the benefits of responsible aquaculture through BAP and our other global programmes."

The Best Aquaculture Practices team will attend the 24-26 April European Seafood Exposition in Brussels, Belgium, and the 1-4 May Australasian Aquaculture 2012 event in Melbourne, Australia.

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