GAA inks agreement to bring more four-star BAP shrimp to the world
Intent on expanding the availability of four-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) shrimp, the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) alongside National Fish & Seafood and Minh Phu Seafood Corporation. The inked document will help encourage some 800 shrimp farms in Vietnam to seek and obtain BAP certification.
The agreement puts National Fish & Seafood in charge of providing the necessary educational support and funding that will allow the farms – which are operated by Minh Phu – to enroll in GAA’s iBAP improvement program. National Fish has also agreed to market the shrimp from the farms that earn and retain BAP certification as a result of the initiative.
By way of iBAP, the farms will be able to able to identify and improve their operations to get them up to standard to apply for BAP certification as groups or as an integrated operating module (IOM). Upon enrolling in iBAP, the farms will have 12 months to garner BAP certification. All facilities that enroll in iBAP agree to following a step-by-step, deadline-driven plan, GAA said; farms can apply directly or via processors, suppliers or buyers acting on their behalf.
GAA has also vowed to provide the educational support necessary for National Fish & Seafood and Minh Phu to manage the project.
“We are delighted to announce our partnership with the GAA and Minh Phu on such a forward-thinking, innovative project to certify hundreds of small-scale shrimp farmers while preserving the sensitive, and extremely vulnerable, mangrove environment,” said Jeff Sedacca, president of National Fish & Seafood’s shrimp division. “This initiative exemplifies a sustainable model which values environmental and social wellbeing and will provide ecological and economic returns for many years in the world’s largest intact mangrove forest. Third-party certification of this progressive farming model will open the doors to international markets, further incentivizing governments, private sector and NGOs to work together to strengthen sustainable aquaculture.”
“This is a very important milestone for the BAP program,” added Peter Redmond, BAP’s VP of market development. “We have long said that the traditional model of certifying a single farm is not practical for the future. This announcement today further demonstrates our commitment to making third-party certification available to the majority of aquaculture constituents. We applaud the work and vision of National Fish and Minh Phu and are honored to be the certification program of choice for this large and very important project. We view this as a very strong sign of real change on the water.”
Ever since it was launched in 2014, iBAP has accepted 82 facilities into its midst; of those facilities, 35 have delivered an application for BAP certification, while 10 are now BAP certified. As of now, 37 facilities from nine countries (Brazil, China, Ecuador, Honduras, India, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Thailand) are enrolled in iBAP. The farms enrolled focus on aquaculture feeds and three species: shrimp, tilapia and trout.