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BC's Salmon Farmers Continue to Raise the Bar

CANADA - Extra work and higher standards: its what BCs salmon farmers have enthusiastically signed up for with a series of certifications achieved by local companies in the first half of 2012.

Companies representing roughly 95 per cent of salmon farming in British Columbia have now achieved certifications under the Global Aquaculture Alliances Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) showing their continual focus on improvement and transparency.

These standards go above and beyond the already-high regulations set by government it shows the voluntary work thats been done to always improve farming practices, said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director, BCSFA.

The BAP certification requires an independent audit of social responsibility, environmental performance, food safety, animal welfare, traceability and biosecurity processes and systems of each farm site that is being considered. Each must meet specific standards and criteria since December 2011, 17 farms in BC have been certified. To learn more about GAAs BAP, visit www.gaalliance.org/bap/

The achievement of the BAPs certifications really demonstrates a commitment by each company to responsible aquaculture. The Global Aquaculture Alliance congratulates each of them for helping to set an example that will provide real confidence to consumers, said George Chamberlain, GAA president.

The Global Aquaculture Alliance completed their BAP standards for farm-raised salmon in mid-2011. The standards were developed with input from academia, environmental groups, customer groups, farmers and other stakeholders from around the world.

The effort and commitment that has come since the completion of these standards really shows our members interest in being leaders in responsible practices, said Walling. We are very proud of the work that were doing and the example that we are setting for aquaculture worldwide.

The BCSFAs members have also completed other important work to move standards forward: such as the successful implementation of the viral management plan and engagement in the development of Canadian organic standards and the World Wildlife Funds Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue Standards.

The BCSFA represents salmon farm companies and those who provide services and supplies to the industry. Salmon-farming provides for 6,000 direct and indirect jobs while contributing $800-million to the provincial economy each year.

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