GAA announces world first BAP area management certification

Published on
October 23, 2019

In a surprise announcement during the 2019 GOAL conference, the Global Aquaculture Alliance announced the world’s first Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) area management biosecurity certification for Clew Bay in Ireland.

The announcement, according to GAA’s Iain Shone, hadn’t been planned in advance of the conference, but the finalization of the certification happened to go through in time. The BAP area management standard started development in 2014 and took five years to develop.

“As soon as the standard was completed, Ireland expressed interest in the certification,” Shone said. “It was some five years in the making, and when it was posted, we immediately received interest from Ireland’s Seafood development agency, for an area called Clew Bay.”

According to Donal Maguire of the Irish Seafood Development Agency, known as Bord Iascaigh Mhara, area management strategies for aquaculture help mitigate risks to individual aquaculture projects.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara created a mechanism called the Co-ordinated Local Aquaculture Management System (C.L.A.M.S) that, according to Maguire, helps fight a variety of threats to local aquaculture systems.

“Anything that can be done to mitigate against those risks is worth doing,” he said.

A key example, Maguire said, is the building of social capital by utilizing area management strategies. That social capital can benefit aquaculture by offsetting some of the negative press that can occur when there’s some sort of problem. Maguire pointed to recent escapes in Canadian aquaculture operations as an example of when an area management strategy could have been beneficial.

“I’m not saying that area management or a C.L.A.M.S.-type system might have prevented the fish loss, but what it could have done is made living with the aftermath of it easier,” Maguire said.

Photo courtesy of Chris Chase/SeafoodSource

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