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Best Aquaculture Practices Adds First Two-Star Operation In Costa Rica

Lucy Towers
11 September 2012, at 1:00am

COSTA RICA - The Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) programme now has a two-star certified operation that farms and processes tilapia in Costa Rica.

The Terrapez S.A. processing plant, which is associated with Aquacorporacin Internacional, S.A. group under Rain Forest Aquaculture, was certified in August as BAP's first tilapia plant in Costa Rica. Located in Caas, Guanacaste, the state-of-the-art, purpose-built plant can process over 20,000 metric tons of fresh and frozen products annually.

A tilapia farm owned by Rain Forest/Aquacorporacin Internacional in Caas was certified to the BAP standards in late June. Tilapia grown in its ponds and raceways provide a wide range of fillet sizes. Harvested fish are transported live to the processing plant and quickly shipped to market fresh or frozen by air and ocean.

Rain Forest Aquaculture Quality Assurance teams monitor the entire production process for compliance with BAP and other established standards. Rain Forest Aquaculture's traceability system tracks its entire production from farming stages to market.

"Rain Forest Aquaculture should be applauded for this development," BAP Vice President of Development Peter Redmond said. "It responded to the marketplace demand for certification, and the marketplace will no doubt respond in kind by welcoming its large volumes of premium tilapia products."

About 90 per cent of the Rain Forest production of fresh tilapia fillets is exported to the United States, representing 25 per cent of the North American market. The remainder is consumed by local and European markets.

BAP certification is based on independent audits that evaluate compliance with the international Best Aquaculture Practices standards developed by the Global Aquaculture Alliance. The two-star designation is given to companies with integrated BAP-certified farm and processing facilities.