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GAA Completes Standards For Salmon Farms

GLOBAL - The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), one of the leading standards-setting organisations for farmed seafood, has expanded the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification programme with the completion of BAP standards for salmon farms.

GAA Executive Director, Wally Stevens, said: "This is another big step forward for BAP. With the salmon standards coming on line, the programme now covers another very important species via international guidelines that protect the environment, worker rights and animal welfare, while also addressing food safety and traceability."

The BAP standards for salmon farms apply to the cage and net pen production of salmon and rainbow trout. They join BAP's standards for shrimp, tilapia, Pangasius and channel catfish.

The BAP programme also includes standards for feed mills, hatcheries and processing plants. Over 1.5 billion pounds (700,000 metric tons) of seafood are processed under the BAP programme annually.

BAP is now open to salmon farmers and processors, and is working with certification bodies to develop auditor guidelines for the new standards. An August BAP auditor course in Ireland will emphasise the salmon standards.

The BAP Standards Oversight Committee (SOC), whose members represent a balance of stakeholders from industry, NGOs and academia, unanimously approved the standards for implementation.

The salmon standards were initially drafted by a technical committee under the chairmanship of aquaculture scientist and consultant John Forster. The standards were then redrafted following input from the public review process, finalised and approved by the SOC and GAA board.

The BAP standards are based on current best practices, but continuously evolve with advancing technology. BAP strives to set standards at an achievable level to encourage a broad cross section of producers to participate and effect positive changes within the industry.

The standards can be viewed at www.gaalliance.org/cmsAdmin/uploads/BAP-SalmonF-611.pdf. Public comments and responses are also available at  www.gaalliance.org/bap/comments.php.

the Fish Site Editor

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